Hollywood is expanding its age demographic this summer. With a new karate kid, a middle-aged iron man, the return of the school girl-teen wolf-vampire love triangle, and a 1,500-year-old sorcerer, studios seem to have something for everyone from 9 to 999.
The busy season starts May 7 with Robert Downey Jr. back in heavy-metal mode in “Iron Man 2,” as the billionaire inventor turned superhero fights public pressure to share his technology and faces a new enemy (Mickey Rourke) with his own arsenal of gadgets.
There are other familiar characters, led by Bella, Edward and Jacob – the lovesick threesome played by Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner – in “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” (June 30).
Part three has Bella preparing for high school graduation amid a string of killings, vengeful bloodsuckers and her choice of a prom date: vampire Edward or werewolf Jacob.
“Toy Story 3” (June 18) and “Shrek Forever After” (May 21) are fresh chapters to two of the biggest animated franchises ever.
The movies reunite their all-star voice casts: Tom Hanks and Tim Allen as Woody the cowboy and Buzz Lightyear in “Toy Story 3,” and Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas as Shrek, Fiona, Donkey and Puss in Boots in “Shrek Forever After.”
Billed as the franchise finale, the fourth “Shrek” movie spins an “It’s a Wonderful Life” nightmare in which the ogre was never born.
“Sex and the City 2” (May 27) takes Carrie Bradshaw and her buddies to Abu Dhabi, where their stylish ways clash with strict Middle East traditions.
Other old friends include:
•“Robin Hood” (May 14), Ridley Scott’s take on the 13th century hero, with Russell Crowe as the wily bandit and Cate Blanchett as Maid Marian.
•“The A-Team” (June 11), an update of the TV show with Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper and Jessica Biel in a tale of ex-Special Forces soldiers trying to clear their names after a frame-up.
•“The Karate Kid” (June 11), a remake starring Jaden Smith as an American youth who becomes a martial-arts underdog with help from an unorthodox mentor (Jackie Chan).
Along with the familiar titles, Hollywood also offers plenty of familiar faces in new settings.
Angelina Jolie stars in “Salt” (July 23) as a CIA agent out to prove her innocence after a defector denounces her as a Russian spy.
In Jerry Bruckheimer’s video-game adaptation “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” (May 28), Jake Gyllenhaal is an adopted royal, falsely accused of murder, seeking a magic time-altering dagger.
Nicolas Cage reunites with “National Treasure” creators Bruckheimer and Jon Turteltaub for “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” (July 16), playing an ancient wizard who takes on a protege (Jay Baruchel) to fight a modern enemy.
Leonardo DiCaprio stars in director Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” (July 16) as a man using technology to enter people’s dreams and steal their ideas.
On the comedy front, Adam Sandler teams with Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade and Rob Schneider as childhood pals reuniting as family men in “Grown Ups” (June 25).
Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz join up for “Knight and Day” (June 25), an action comedy about a rogue agent who drags a bystander into a globe-trotting adventure of car chases, gunplay – and, of course, unexpected romance.
Steve Carell does double duty, starring in the live-action romp “Dinner for Schmucks” (July 23) and providing the lead voice for the animated tale “Despicable Me” (July 9).
Colin Ferrell joins Mark Wahlberg for “The Other Guys” (Aug. 6), the tale of a police accountant partnered with a tough street cop.
In a more serious vein, “Mother and Child” (May 7) stars Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson and Jimmy Smits in a tale of three women whose lives have been touched by adoption.
Co-starring Sissy Spacek, “Get Low” (July 30) features Robert Duvall as a backwoods misanthrope who decides to hold a big funeral send-off for himself – while he’s still alive – and hires an undertaker (Bill Murray) to arrange it.
“Eat Pray Love” (Aug. 13), based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling memoir and directed by “Glee” co-creator Ryan Murphy, stars Julia Roberts as a woman on a globe-trotting quest to fill the holes in her soul.