Hilary Swank recently signed on to play Amelia Earhart in a biopic about the aviator, but Reese Witherspoon will probably beat her to it. Variety says she’s in talks to play Earhart in Night at the Museum 2: Escape from the Smithsonian, a sequel already set for a May 22, 2009 release date.

The Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. include the Air & Space Museum, so you have to assume Ben Stiller’s hapless night watchman, not having learned his lesson, spends an ill-fated night underneath the airplanes and gets a visit from Amelia in the process. Seriously, why do characters in sequels never learn anything from their earlier adventures? Though if it’s getting spending time with a spunky blonde Earhart instead of being chased by a dinosaur and hanging out with Robin Williams as Teddy Roosevelt, I’d probably return to the gig too.

Reese Witherspoon seems horribly, horribly miscast as Earhart, but the original Night at the Museum wasn’t huge on historical accuracy either. It’ll actually be fun to see Reese return to her broad comedy roots, since her latest attempt at being taken seriously, Rendition, didn’t work out too well. And since Ricky Gervais is rumored to be reprising his role, the idea of seeing David Brent and Elle Woods in one movie together might be enough to get me out to see this one.

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