Gyllenhaal steps in for 'Dark Knight'

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Maggie Gyllenhaal is in final negotiations to join the all-star cast of "The Dark Knight," Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures' sequel to "Batman Begins."

Gyllenhaal is being tapped to play D.A. Rachel Dawes, the love interest to Bruce Wayne/Batman (Christian Bale). In the first movie, Dawes was played Katie Holmes, who, like Gyllenhaal, is repped by CAA. But reps for Holmes said she was unable to reprise her role because of scheduling conflicts.

"Knight" finds Christopher Nolan back in the director's chair, joining "Batman Begins' " Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Gary Oldman. Heath Ledger is set as the Joker, while Aaron Eckhart will play D.A. Harvey Dent, also known as the villainous Two-Face.

"I'm extremely excited to work with an actress of Maggie's caliber, and she's a great addition to the cast as we continue our story," Nolan said.

The script was written by Nolan's brother, Jonathan, from a story by Christopher Nolan and David Goyer. Producing are Emma Thomas, Charles Roven and Christopher Nolan.

Warners' Greg Silverman is overseeing for the studio.

Gyllenhaal, who earned critical raves for her starring turn in the indie "Sherrybaby," was last seen in "Stranger Than Fiction" and "World Trade Center." She also lent her voice to the Oscar-nominated animated feature "Monster House."

She also is repped by Benderspink and the law firm Bloom Hergott Diemer.
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