Michael Raven Returns to Wicked With Spy Thriller 'Monarch'

Michael Raven Returns to Wicked With Spy Thriller 'Monarch'

LOS ANGELES — Director Michael Raven returns to Wicked Pictures, following a 13-year hiatus, with the espionage thriller "Monarch," which goes before the cameras next month ahead of an August release.

During a lauded 10-year run with the studio the director helmed such titles as "Beautiful" starring Julia Ann and "Breathless," toplined by Devinn Lane, as well as "Highway," "Supernatural" and "The Visitors" and now has signed a deal to helm a new series of high-budget features.

"Michael is an incredibly talented filmmaker, a true legend in the industry and a pivotal figure in the history of Wicked," Head of Production Axel Braun said. "As a director, I have always looked up to him and I am absolutely stoked that I was able to convince him to come back. Having him aboard is an honor and a privilege, and I can’t wait for everybody to see what he has in store."

Following his departure from adult in 2009, Raven transitioned to mainstream projects for NBC Universal and Syfy channel, among others, across multiple genres.

Raven noted he "never planned nor foresaw a porn comeback" until Braun persuaded him.

"I am beyond thrilled to be back with the Wicked family," he said, adding, "and I am very much looking forward to working with my friend and colleague Axel. The 10 years I spent at Wicked left me with some amazing memories and a strong emotional attachment to the company. I love Axel’s vision of bridging past and present to build a stronger, evolutionary future. He is definitely very protective of the brand, just like myself, which is why we share the common goal of making Wicked better than ever."

"Monarch" is a screen adaptation of Raven's own 75,000-word erotic espionage novel, set to be published later this year by Amazon/Thomas & Mercer.

“This one is personal,” said Raven. “Inspired by my real-life experiences, 'Monarch' is the story of Nikki Feral, a free-spirited, sex-addicted adrenaline junkie who finds her calling serving in the U.S. Navy. She is introduced to the world of international espionage through the Monarch Program, a special division of the American intelligence community that trains men and women to carry out various covert operations using sex and subterfuge to achieve their goals."

"Like the infamous Project MK-Ultra which has been name-checked in such pop culture hits as 'The X-Files' and 'Stranger Things,' the Monarch Program allegedly uses mind-control techniques to create and manipulate super-soldiers," Raven continued. "'Monarch' is a dark, romantic drama with plenty of adventure, and it will feature exotic locations, stunning visuals and an engaging storyline. Great efforts and attention to detail have been taken to ensure the accuracy of uniforms, sets and seamless visual effects. Combined with some of the hottest sex performers in the business today, this should prove to an entertaining experience that will continue help Wicked maintain the level of respect they have enjoyed over the past 25 years.”

"Monarch" will be available this summer on Wicked.com.

Follow the studio and Axel Braun on Twitter.

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