Axel Braun is arguably one of the most successful and influential people currently working in the porn, having won almost every major directing award the adult indusrty has to offer, including being inducted to the AVN Hall of Fame in 2011. The man behind such epic comic book porn parodies such as Spider-Man XXX, Batman XXX, Superman XXX, and the newly released and record breaking Star Wars XXX, Axel Braun has perfected the art of bringing the erotic side of comic books to life in his films. Additionally, his porn parodies have earned a reputation for their incredible attention to detail, providing an incredibly accurate portrayal of the characters starring in his movies, in many cases delivering a product that is much truer to the comic books than Hollywood has ever managed. And, yes, his films are chock full of some of the hottest pornstars the adult entertainment industry has to offer.
Vivid Entertainment, the studio behind each of the above mentioned films, has also played a major role in helping bring these comic characters into the world of porn. Headed by Steven Hirsh, a legend in his own right, Vivid has teamed up with Axel Braun to focus on injecting the erotic side of geek culture into some of the most successful and popular porn parodies to hit the market in recent memory. Batman XXX was one of the most dominant and best selling porn films of 2010. Spider-Man XXX, released in 2011, was another smash hit for Vivid, representing not only a best-seller, but also receiving a lot of attention at the 2012 AVN Awards. In 2012, Axel Braun and Vivid are holding nothing back, having just released Star Wars XXX and preparing to release the much anticipated Avengers XXX.
I recently had the opportunity to ask Axel Braun a few questions about his work, what he has in store for 2012, and some of his influences as a director. Here’s how that went…
1. I guess the question I’ll start off with is probably one that a lot of people think as they watch your films; How awesome is it to be able to make a living making movies about Spider-Man, Batman, and now Darth Vader?
It is in fact pretty freaking awesome! I get to shoot movies with my comic book heroes, fulfill every geek’s dirty fantasies, and pretend that I’m a real director. Can’t beat that!
2. The superhero porn parody seems like it’s becoming one of the biggest trends in the adult entertainment industry. Why do you think geek culture is suddenly such a popular thing, especially in the world of porn?
The geek community is heavily tied to science fiction, comic books, and superheroes. With the mainstream movie industry focusing on these types of projects in recent years, geeks suddenly became a very important target audience. They are incredibly dedicated fans, excellent critics, and their massive networking can literally make or break a movie. When the proliferation of the Internet killed DVD sales, I decided it was time to stop trying to lure back the typical porn consumers from the dark side of free adult content, and I went after a different demographic.
Geeks were an ideal target, and being one of them it was fairly easy to know what they wanted: parodies of cult movies, TV shows, comic books, or superheroes, infused with obvious deep knowledge of the subject matter, tons of nerdy references, and obsessive attention to detail. And boobs. How could I lose by being so totally awesome?
3. I’ve heard it said that you’re a life-long comic book fan. Growing up, what were some of your favorite books/characters? Are you still a regular reader of comics and, if so, what titles are you reading?
My father was good friends with the Italian distributor of all Marvel comics, so I always got two free copies of each issue, one to read and one to save. I still have all the silver-age collections of Spider-Man, Daredevil, Fantastic Four, The Avengers, Captain America, in mint condition…I just don’t read them anymore because I don’t have time. And because I am a 45 year old man who actually works for a living.
4. A lot of people want to do what you do for a living. What advice would you give to someone who’s looking to get into directing films, porn or otherwise?
A: Stay hungry. Stay foolish. And stay out of porn, I don’t want anybody to take my job.
5. While there’s no doubt that your comic book/sci-fi porn parodies, such as Batman XXX, Spider-Man XXX, and now Star Wars XXX, have become some of the most successful adult films in recent memory, was it easy for you to get people within your industry to buy into this idea of making porn parodies based off of comic book characters?
I brought the idea to Vivid, and owner Steven Hirsch jumped at it. Before I was done with Batman we were already in pre-production with three different superhero projects. No wonder he won the AVN visionary award this year.
6. I think one of the things than makes your films so popular is the your attention to detail that you pay to the characters you’re working with. In many cases, thinking of Spider-Man XXX as an example, your films are truer to the comic books than the mainstream Hollywood films. How easy/difficult is it to get all of that stuff right and still make an enjoyable porn film at the same time?
Actually getting all the details right is what makes the film enjoyable. At least for me.
7. While I’m sure they’re all special to you, if you had to pick, which of your comic book porn parodies would you say is your favorite?
“Superman vs. Spider-Man XXX”. Comes out in July. Quite possibly the best movie ever made.
8. From what I understand, X-Men XXX and Wolverine XXX are your next big comic book based projects. The readers of my blog are dying for details about both. Anything you can share about what characters you plan on using or when we can expect the films to be released?
I can’t say much because I am bound by a non-disclosure agreement with myself. But what I can tell you is that Rogue, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Deadpool, Sabretooth, Colossus, Kitty Pride, Storm, Emma Frost, Magneto, Wolverine, and Domino, will all have a jolly good time.
9. What other projects are you working on this year?
The Dark Knight Rises, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, James Bond, Fantastic Four, Thor, She-Hulk, and Daredevil. And another couple dozen bigger ones.
10. Finally, do you see this trend of geek culture being so popular as something that will last, or is this just a fad that will run its course and burn out eventually?
A: The geeks shall inherit the earth!
Lots of exciting details in there. As more details are made available about any of the projects Axel mention above, including The Empire Strikes Back XXX, The X-Men XXX, and The Dark Knight Rises XXX, I’ll be sure to keep everyone updated.