LOS ANGELES—AVN Director of the Year three-peater Axel Braun dropped another in a series of recent bombshells Friday afternoon by announcing that he is ending his four-year professional partnership with adult powerhouse Vivid Entertainment effective November 1.
“It’s an absolutely amicable split,” Braun said. “Vivid is a terrific company, and everybody there has always been great to me. I have a tremendous amount of respect for [co-chairman] Steven Hirsch, but I simply felt it was time to hit the reset button and challenge myself with different endeavors.”
A 23-year industry veteran, Braun first started collaborating with Vivid in late 2009, when he signed a distribution deal with the studio for his namesake company Axel Braun Productions. His first ABP title, the multiple AVN Award-winning Batman XXX: A Porn Parody, became the highest selling and highest renting title of the year. He has gone on to create acclaimed parodies of nearly every costumed crimefighter in the comic universe, from Superman to Spider-Man, Wolverine, Iron Man and many more.
“I’m first and foremost a comic book fan,” Braun commented. “I notoriously obsess over the tiniest details to make sure that the characters I spoof are portrayed as accurately as possible, and I guess that resonates strongly with other fans. It’s easier to give an audience what they want when you’re part of the same demographic.”
But comics are not the only targets of Braun’s parodies, which often take on his childhood heroes—like in the case of the AVN trophy festooned Elvis XXX: A Porn Parody—or his favorite movies, as with last year’s top-selling and top-renting Star Wars XXX: A Porn Parody.
“I’m not going to stop shooting parodies,” assured Braun, who recently signed superstar Riley Steele to an exclusive two-year contract. “I just want to take ABP in a slightly different direction and expand my catalogue, and I feel the need to have more control over every aspect of this phase, and more time to focus on promoting Riley. Meanwhile I will still continue to collaborate with Vivid on the post-production of the many projects that we recently completed, while I’m looking forward to this exciting new stage of my career.
"Vivid has been my family for four years," Braun concluded, "and the fact that we are no longer doing business together has no impact on the friendship that we have."
For Vivid's part, Hirsch offered, "Axel has been a great asset to Vivid and I'm positive he'll be successful in whatever he chooses to do next."