Hollywood's golden oldies are making a comeback, starring or playing supporting roles in a bunch of movies due for release in the coming months.
The re-emergence of actors aged in their mid-50s, 60s or even older isn't unusual in one sense because the autumn season in the US traditionally is geared to mature audiences after the popcorn-saturated summer.
But the preponderance of 'grey power' seems even more pronounced this season, even extending to veterans such as nonagenarians Eli Wallach and Ernest Borgnine and 88-year-old Betty White.
“It's hard to remember a year with so many centrepiece movies featuring actors who are old enough to remember when popcorn was 20 cents, most theatres had a single screen and Stanley Kubrick was just getting started,” observes the Houston Chronicle's Peter Hartlaub.
Moreover, veteran directors will be well represented with 80-year-old Clint Eastwood's Hereafter; 74-year-old Woody Allen's You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (whose ensemble cast includes 72-year-old Anthony Hopkins); and 70-year-old James L. Brooks' How Do You Know (which stars Robert De Niro, 73).
Oliver Stone's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps features senior citizens Wallach (94), Frank Langella (72), Michael Douglas (65) and Susan Sarandon (63) alongside young buck Shia LaBeouf in the next chapter of the Gordon Gekko story.
Borgnine (93), Morgan Freeman (73), Helen Mirren (65), Brian Cox (64), Richard Dreyfuss (62), John Malkovich (56) and Bruce Willis (55) star in Red, a thriller about former CIA agents who are targeted because they know too much. Mirren will also be seen in The Tempest, director Julie Taymor's big-screen adaptation of Shakespeare's mystical thriller.
Secretariat, a Disney film about a championship racehorse in the 1970s, boasts a thoroughbred cast including James Cromwell (70), Scott Glenn (69), Fred Thompson (68) and Malkovich.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part I includes such venerable names as Maggie Smith (75), John Hurt (70), Michael Gambon (69), Alan Rickman (64) and Bill Nighy (60).
Harrison Ford (68) and Diane Keaton (64) play the mismatched stars of a TV morning news show in Morning Glory. Sixty-year-old Jeff Bridges stars in Tron: Legacy, the 3D sequel to Disney's 1982 cult thriller, and in the Coen brothers' remake of the classic John Wayne Western True Grit.
Betty White plays Grandma Bunny in You Again, a comedy starring Kristen Bell as Marni, a successful career woman who arrives for her brother's wedding to discover he's marrying her old high school rival. Sigourney Weaver (60) is the bride's aunt, who turns out to be the high school nemesis of Marni's dowdy mother played by Jamie Lee Curtis (51).
This welcome return of the 'wrinklies' may be short-lived judging by the 2011 line-up which seems to skew young-ish with titles such as X-Men: First Class, Spy Kids 4, Transformers 3, Smurfs, Puss in Boots, Winnie the Pooh, an untitled Justin Beiber 3D opus, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2.