Having plumbed the depths of superheroes in their pubescence with Kick-Ass and X:Men: First Class, director Matthew Vaughn is considering going to the other extreme with The Golden Age, a film about retired superheroes forced to leave the nursing home after their middle-aged kids royally screw up, leaving the eldest generation to save the world with the help of their grandchildren. The project is so new it not only has no script, it’s based on a yet-to-be-published comic book from British talk-show host Jonathan Ross (whose own comic-book-y existence includes an archenemy in Piers Morgan, and an Achilles heel when it comes to pronouncing the letter “R”), but Vaughn is already making aggressive moves to get stars attached, namely Clint Eastwood, Warren Beatty, and Jack Nicholson.
So basically, it’s Space Cowboys in tights—or more obviously, Red and The Expendables, two recent films that Vaughn points to as evidence that audiences are open to elderly actors playing action heroes, even if both of those films were ultimately overwhelmed by their own gimmick. (Or, if you prefer a more genre-specific example, the “elderly superhero” trope also has roots in comic stories like Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, Astro City, and Kingdom Come.) As with all of those films, actually getting those actors on board a project like this is an uphill battle—particularly Beatty, who hasn’t appeared on screen since 2001’s Town And Country—which means Vaughn may have to set his sights a little lower to get this one made. Ernest Borgnine is probably up for it.