Here’s some good news: the ineffably beautiful Charlotte Gainsbourg has dropped out of Terminator 4, supposedly because of scheduling problems (although maybe she just got a look at the script). Taking her place instead will be Bryce Dallas Howard, the disturbingly hot daughter of Opie from The Andy Griffith Show.

Howard will be stepping into the role of Kate, first essayed by the increasingly bland Claire Danes in Terminator 3: Crumminess. She’s now the wife of John Connor, played by Christian Bale, and thus my ever-witty headline.

The movie’s already shooting in New Mexico, but I imagine none of the Kate scenes have been filmed. Interestingly enough, Terminator 4 is scheduled to go beyond the possible SAG strike date – the movie will shut down at the end of the month if the actors do walk. It certainly seems like a vote of confidence in the negotiating process on the producer’s part.

Oh, and when I say this is good news, I mean for Gainsbourg. The actress never belonged in this movie at all, and I’m glad to see her gracefully get out of it rather than having to sit in a theater and see her lost and misused in the movie next summer. Howard’s not a terrible actress or anything, but these big dumb Hollywood movies – these are her world.