Howard dives into ‘P.D.R.’

Thesp also joins Williams starrer 'Rush'

Terrence Howard is in final talks to topline Lionsgate’s sports drama “P.D.R.,” based on the true story of inner city Philadelphia swim coach Jim Ellis.

It’s the second casting move this week for Howard. Thesp –who stars in Lionsgate’s Oscar best pic contender “Crash” — has joined the cast of Warner Bros. Pictures’ “August Rush,” starring Robin Williams, Freddie Highmore, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Keri Russell.

“P.D.R.,” from a screenplay by Mike Gozzard and K. Michael Smith, will be helmed by South African music video and commercials director Sunu Gonera.

Story revolves around Ellis’ fight to build a swim team in one of Philly’s toughest neighborhoods in the 1970s. Ultimately, Ellis leads the swimmers to the state championships. (“P.D.R.” stands for Philadelphia Dept. of Recreation).

Producers so far are Brett Forbes and Patrick Rizzotti.

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