Few were surprised or upset when Katie Holmes, considered by many to be the weakest link in Christopher Nolan’s Batman revival, dropped out of the sequel a while back. And with other, juicier casting news to think about, the subject of Holmes’ replacement hasn’t been foremost in the rumor mill.

Even so, Maggie Gyllenhaal has been the favorite Rachel Dawes replacement for a while and Variety is now reporting that she’s in final talks to step into the role. Assuming that she signs on the line, that erases the last question mark in a lineup that’s become uncommonly strong. Assuming there’s no report of another insipid batmobile chase sequence, I’m going to be dying for this by the time 2008 rolls around.

Late spring/early summer is still the broad start date for shooting on The Dark Knight.