Adult filmmaker Axel Braun and his wildly successful XXX parody engine Axel Braun Productions are parting ways with Vivid Entertainment after a four-year run that included some of the bestselling adult films of all time, under the Vivid Superheroes XXX imprint, according to an October 18 report from Business.AVN.com.
“It’s an absolutely amicable split,” Braun told AVN. “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.”
He'll be taking former Digital Playground contract star Riley Steele with him: in September Steele signed a two-year exclusive contract with Axel Braun Productions.
Braun, who has now won Director of the Year at the annual AVN Awards ceremony three times -- among countless other adult entertainment industry honors -- has been making big moves in the industry in advance of this week's news. In August he began requiring Hepatis C tests for all performers in his films and arlier this month he announced he was raising the minimum age for performers in his films from 18 to 21, telling AVN “If the law says you are not old enough to handle alcohol responsibly, then you are probably not ready to make a career decision that will have such strong repercussions on the rest of your life... This may not be a popular choice, but it is a personal one, and it is what my conscience tells me to do. I simply don’t feel comfortable anymore shooting talent under 21.”
While his development deal with Vivid officially ends on November 1, Braun told AVN he'll be working closely with the studio to finish post-production on recently completed projects.
Here's more, via AVN.com:
"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."