EXCLUSIVE: Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class writer/director/producer Matthew Vaughn tells me that a major Hollywood studio is very keen to fully fund his next big project: The Golden Age about a retirement home where superheroes end up. And the title is also a reference to early comic books of the 1930s when Superman and Batman first appeared. It’s based on the yet-to-be-published comic book written by Brit TV chat show host Jonathan Ross, who’s a huge comics buff. Vaughn is currently in LA editing X-Men: First Class for Fox, but tells me he wants to get actors attached to the new project before the script is written. His wish list is Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson, and Warren Beatty to play the retired superheroes who help out their grandchildren when their middle-aged parent screw up the world.
Vaughn believes the success of The Expendables and Red shows that audiences are open to the idea of older action heroes. “You have these great star names and they’re mainly playing supporting roles now. I want to give them the lead again and let them have some fun.”
It’s not certain whether Vaughn’s partner Jane Goldman, who has co-written X-Men: First Class and Kick-Ass for Vaughn to direct, will be penning this one, though. Vaughn says he may hire other writers. And he may not direct it himself either. He may produce The Golden Age. Vaughn started out in life as Guy Ritchie’s producer and then turned director.
Turf, Ross’s gangsters-versus-vampires comic book drawn by Tommy Lee Edwards, is up to issue 3 in its 5-part series published by Image Comics. Fans had to wait 4 months between issues 2 and 3 though, so many assumed it had stopped being published. Sales fell off sharply, says London comics store 30th Century Comics. Ross is also involved in monthly UK comic-book magazine Clint, which is currently running Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass 2, his comic book sequel.
The idea of a retired superhero was first mooted in Frank Miller’s 1986 comic The Dark Knight Returns, which featured a 55-year-old Bruce Wayne who’s hung up his cape. And Working Title is developing a movie version of Kurt Busiek’s Astro City comic, which has a city full of retired masked crusaders.