After a quiet 10 years in the business, Oscar golden boy Terrence Howard is suddenly desperately sought by every studio head under the sun. Already signed to costar with Jodie Foster in The Brave Oneand currently in negotiations to play Thurgood Marshall in The Crusaders, Howard now has two more projects on his plate.

The first is an ensemble piece called August Rush, in which Howard will play a social worker who helps a ruptured (but musical!) family get back together. As discussed here last month, his costars in the film will include Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Keri Russell, and Robin Williams. Howard's second new project - about which he is currently in talks - is a true story called PDR. PDR (which, for the 99% of you not in Philly, stands for Philadelphia Department of Recreation) tells the story of a swim coach (to be played by Howard) who, during the 1970s, "transformed a group of troubled inner-city kids into one of the best swim teams in the country." The movie will be directed by a South African director of commercials named Sunu Gonera, and is scheduled to start shooting this spring, so negotiations presumably will be sorted out fairly soon.

I guess four movies in 18 months or so is what they call striking while the iron is hot, huh? I just hope, for Howard's sake, that some of them are good - otherwise this good reputation he's got will be more fleeting than he could ever imagine. Right, Halle Berry?