'Wicked Noir' Imprint Debuts With James Avalon's 'Duplicity'

'Wicked Noir' Imprint Debuts With James Avalon's 'Duplicity'

LOS ANGELES — Wicked Pictures has announced the launch of new imprint Wicked Noir, dedicated to stylish crime dramas, debuting today on Wicked.com with the first scene from the feature “Duplicity."

According to a rep, Wicked Noir productions will be characterized by elements such as “intricate plots, femmes fatale and stark lighting effects, and will be tinged with cynicism and a certain devious appreciation for the darker corners of the human psyche.”

The brainchild of Head of Production Axel Braun, Wicked Noir debuts officially today with the first scene from "Duplicity," a feature produced by Braun and directed by James Avalon, who will also serve as the lead director for the newly launched line.

“Some of my all-time favorite mainstream movies are film noir,” said Braun, citing classic titles such as “Touch of Evil,” “Double Indemnity” and “Out of the Past,” as well as neo-noir features like “Body Heat,” “Mulholland Drive” and “Chinatown.” 

“I’ve been wanting to work with James for a while,” Braun added. “He is an exceptional filmmaker, a top-tier screenwriter and a phenomenal editor, so when I found out he shared my passion for this particular type of movies, I decided they would be a perfect fit for the Wicked brand.” 

A Collaboration Between Veterans

“When Axel asked me if I had any feature ideas I’ve been dying to shoot, I instantly said ‘hell, yes,’” enthused Avalon. “I told him I had a couple of film noir ideas I’ve been wanting to shoot for years, and he said, ‘I love film noir, let’s do it.’ And we did.”

“I had always wanted to write and direct for Wicked,” said Avalon, describing the studio as “a company known for great stories, rich imagery and intense eroticism. But somehow our paths never crossed. I feel so honored to have finally had the chance to make a movie for this prestigious studio, and it was such a pleasure working with someone like Axel who has such a rich love of cinema and keen sense of film history.”

Braun described Avalon’s “Duplicity” as “a fantastic movie.”

“James wrote an incredible script, shot it with the kind of cinematic bravura you rarely see in the adult industry, and edited with award-worthy gusto, while the cast delivered brilliant performances,” Braun added. “Charles Dera is exceptionally charismatic, Evelyn Claire commands the screen as usual with her beauty and intensity and Freya Parker as the lead is an absolute revelation."

"I couldn’t be more proud of everybody involved," Braun continued, "including old friends of mine like Steve Holmes, who is as talented and professional an actor as he’s a performer; lighting director Shaun Rivera, whose skills and vision are unmatched; Kylie Ireland who’s, bar none, the best art director in the industry; and last but not least, the amazingly gifted Ralph Parfait, who shared videography duties with Avalon himself.”  

'Duplicity' Cast and Director Weigh In

Charles Dera, the 2018 XBIZ award-winner for “Best Actor," opined that “there’s no one in the industry who carries such a peaceful vibe as James Avalon. James provides a serene environment where performers can be at their best and I was honored to be chosen as the lead for this remarkable project.”

Newcomer Freya Parker described “Duplicity” as “the longest script I’d ever been handed in my career. It was so different, and I was so excited to have the opportunity to be a part of it. I had yet to be given such a complex role, and it allowed me to challenge myself and my abilities as far as acting goes. I adored working closely with the cast, many whom I’d never met before. It was such a special film to be involved with.”

The veteran director enthused about all of the performers.

"Evelyn has such a captivating mysterious aura to her,” he said. “And Freya has such a keen tongue-in-cheek yet feisty vibe; definitely one of the most intriguing newcomers in the business. Both were my first choices for the leads, and they brought so much into the movie that it exceeded my expectations. And Dera surprised us all with his powerful and intense performance. They are the source of the magic that I feel we created together for this film.” 

Braun added that Wicked has been "synonymous with high-quality, story-driven features."

"Working with top-notch directors who are truly passionate about their projects and just love the filmmaking process is both a pleasure and a privilege, and I am thrilled to have James on board for this exciting series of movies that I’m sure will entice our fans with their suspenseful plots, their beautiful visuals — and, of course, their torrid sex scenes.” 

The first scene from Duplicity is available exclusively on Wicked.com.

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