LOS ANGELES – from www.foxnews.com – Super-hero blockbusters have been box office hits for Hollywood for decades. But now Superman, Batman and friends are topping the charts for another industry as well.
The porn industry.
Director Axel Braun has become most in-demand X-rated director in the world by taking popular super heroes and creating super successful porn parodies.
The adult film director has directed more than 400 movies since 1990, but it was his work on “Batman XXX: A Porn Parody” in 2010 that cemented his name when it became the best-selling and most-rented title of 2010. Since then, Braun has released everything from “Spiderman XXX: A Porn Parody” to takes on “Star Wars,” “The Avengers” and “Iron Man.”
And get this: he doesn’t even film the sex scenes.
Braun’s latest is “Superman XXX: A Porn Parody,” released to capitalize on Warner Bros’ “Man of Steel.”
“I felt that Superman needed to step away from the dorky, fumbling Clark Kent cliché, and gain some of those elements that made Spider-Man so appealing to me as a kid, some of that vulnerability and not-so-perfect life.
“I tried to humanize him a little, make him a little more relatable to the general public and at the same time parody without resorting to slapstick,” Braun told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column.
“I also used characters that we haven’t been able to see yet in a mainstream big-screen adaptation, like Livewire and Silver Banshee. After all, I am selling a fantasy, and what better way to do so than bringing a bunch of obscure, sexy super-villains to life?”
Braun was inducted into the AVN (Adult Video Network) Hall of Fame in 2011, and had become the only director to win Adult Director three years in a row. He told us he’s setting a new bar for the industry to aspire to, and that his porn parodies are a notch above what other production houses are trying to do.
“I always have an emotional connection to the source material that I’m spoofing. As the porn parody genre became more successful, many companies jumped on the bandwagon, inundating the market with uninspired products shot only to capitalize on the popularity of a TV show or movie or comic character,” Braun said.
“My approach is completely different, especially in regards to comic book material… I am first and foremost a fan, so I have a better understanding of what other fans would like to see. I am always respectful, and my movies rarely contain any profanity.”
And although his film stars end up taking it all off, and much more, just like every other porn star, Braun is known for casting actors who can actually act, and for paying meticulous attention to every wardrobe detail.
“Costumes can take up to three months to get made. For ‘Batman XXX’ it took me almost a year to find the exact fabric and dyes used in the 60’s TV show. Shooting is at least eight to 10 days, which is clearly laughable by mainstream standards yet huge in comparison with the typical one to two days on most adult movies,” he explained.
“And then there is the visual effects, which is usually a couple of months worth of work. Nailing the look and feel is the main challenge, especially when you are parodying a $200 million movie on an $80,000 budget.”
Braun also sells clean, no-sex versions of his movies, which run about 30 minutes. And surprisingly, Braun says he has yet to encounter any legal troubles his super hero on super hero action. Some experts have gone so far as to suggest that such high quality porn parodies could be the key to rescuing the porn industry, which has been dealing with illegal downloads, Internet piracy, and amateur videos diluting the market.
Braun, whose father Lasse Braun was a groundbreaking porn director in the 1960s (his doctoral dissertation on censorship was used as the basis for legalizing pornography in his home country Denmark), says at the end of the day, he’s like any other 9-to-5 guy.
“I have always treated (my job) as a business, not a lifestyle. The most common misconception is that we are all drugged-out, promiscuous sex addicts who could not do anything else in life,” he said. “While this generalization may hold true for some, I am actually a happily married, monogamous family man with a PhD in Psychology, who does not smoke, drink or do drugs… I’m not sure if I see breaking misconceptions as a responsibility, but hopefully it serves as an example – or at least as a statement of my shamelessly over-inflated ego.”