Maggie Gyllenhaal has been snapped up to replace Toni Collette in an upcoming comedy from Sam Mendes.

The as-yet-untitled picture from the American Beauty director tells of a young couple (John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph) who travel across the US in search of a place to call home.

Collette had been attached to star as a bohemian college professor and friend of Krasinski's character but has been forced to withdraw due to a scheduling conflict.

According to Variety, Gyllenhaal has now been signed to take the role and will begin shooting in Connecticut next week.

Gyllenhaal's joining of the project is not the first occasion on which she has been contracted to replace another actress. The Stranger Than Fiction star stepped in to Katie Holmes' shoes as attorney Rachel Dawes in upcoming Batman sequel The Dark Knight.

The character has recently been the subject of a viral marketing campaign, with a video leaked showing Rachel Dawes pledging her support for Gotham City politician Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) who is vying for the position of district attorney.

However, Gyllenhaal recently stressed she had no plans to mimic her predecessor in the role.

"I think she's a wonderful actress and I really admired the work that she did in the first Batman, but I don't think it would have worked if I tried to imitate her," she told

"I think the only way to do it is do it like myself."

02/05/2008 10:34:47