When you're an actress who dances between independent cinema and ginormous franchises, how do you follow up Twilight: Eclipse and Terminator: Salvation? You seek Oscar buzz and join Clint Eastwood for some supernatural chills. According to Variety, Bryce Dallas Howard has signed on to Hereafter, where she'll star opposite Matt Damon and Cecile De France.

The plot of Hereafter has become a little less murky in recent months. It centers around three people -- an American blue collar type, a French journalist, and a London schoolboy -- who have all been touched by death in some way. Earlier reports have it that De France's journalist was caught in the 2004 tsunami (a plot point that was already drawing a little "too soon!" controversy), and that Damon is a psychic who can communicate with the dead. Now you know where The Sixth Sense comparisons came from, though I have faith that Peter Morgan's script will be something fresh. Even if it did descend into Shyamalan twist territory, Eastwood and Damon have never gone in pursuit of ghosts before. That alone can keep my interest.

The film is set for a December 2010 release and was shooting in England and France before the Invictus promotion began. Just think, exactly one year from now Hereafter will be in theaters. You'll be watching Eastwood and Damon making the same press rounds, seeing them on all the awards buzz lists, and probably reading about a half-filmed Eastwood project right here on Cinematical. That thought should make you shiver a little at your own mortality and the quick passage of time!