Meet the Actress Set to Star in the "James Wan Presents" Untitled Movie, Maria Bello

Photo Credit: Warner Independent Pictures
November 27th, 2012

Meet the Actress Set to Star in the "James Wan Presents" Untitled Movie, Maria Bello

-- Dimension Films recently announced that it is starting a new line of films that will carry the title tag "James Wan Presents." The first thriller movie in this line will feature Maria Bello as the female lead, although the movie is as yet untitled. The film will be produced by James Wan and Lee Clay, directing duties will fall to Will Canon, and scriptwriting has been left to Max La Bella.

Wan is an Australian film producer, director, and screenwriter of Chinese heritage. He has directed several movies, including "Insidious," "Saw," and "Death Sentence." Canon is a film actor, writer, director, producer, and editor who has been involved with numerous films, including "Brotherhood," "Air Jesus," and "Youngster." La Bella is a film writer and editor and is also ABC's full-time news editor.

Bello has worked with Clay in the past, in "Beautiful Boy," and has been quoted as saying that she loved their working relationship. Now that they have been partnered again, it is only a matter of time before fans see what this loving working relationship will produce. The talented actress added that she is looking forward to the start of the production. Wan has also been quoted as saying that he is thrilled by the project and that the talent that he will be working with is amazing. He revealed that Bello was the first choice for the role she has been cast for.

The thriller Bello is set to star in is set in the aftermath of a gruesome massacre. Five college students have just been killed in an abandoned home, and a detective, Mark Lewis, arrives on the scene with Dr. Elizabeth Klein, a psychologist, who will be portrayed by Maria Bello. The two start questioning one of the few survivors who explains that the group had been on an amateur ghost-hunting expedition and that they had come to the house because it was rumored to be the scene of paranormal phenomenon. The student goes on to explain how their seemingly harmless hunt had turned violent, and he believes that the fault lies with the house itself.
The studio made the announcement of Bello's involvement with "James Wan Presents" on Nov. 13, 2012, and the shooting of the thriller film is scheduled to start in Baton Rouge, Los Angeles, in early 2013.

Bello was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, to Kathy, a school nurse and teacher, and Joe, a contractor. She is of mixed parentage; her father is an Italian American, and her mother is a Polish American. Her working class family was Roman Catholic and she attended Carroll High School in Radnor, Pennsylvania, before going to Villanova University, where she majored in political science.

Although Bello originally wanted to be a lawyer, it seemed that she was destined to be an actress. She started acting while in her senior year, after taking a few acting classes, by getting involved with small off-Broadway plays, including "Urban Planning" and "The Killer Inside Me" before graduating to television series such as "ER," "Due South," and "Mr. & Mrs. Smith."

Soon after, her acting career took another interesting turn when she began getting film roles. Some of the movies she has acted in include "Coyote Ugly," "The Jane Austen Book Club," "The Cooler," and "A History of Violence." The last two earned her two nominations for Golden Globe awards in the Best Supporting Actress category. She was also nominated for Golden Globe awards in the Best Actress category for "A History of Violence." Her latest movies and televising series include "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor," "The Yellow Handkerchief," "Prime Suspect," Law & Order: SVU," and several others.

Most fans of Bello credit her with a wonderful combination of brains, beauty, and talent. In most of her films, she is cast in the roles of smart but complex characters who are often damaged. The fact she managed to pull off most of these roles successfully shows something about the strength of her acting prowess. She is also one of the few actors who have successfully transitioned from television to film roles: a feat that many artists agree is daunting. In her busy career, Bello has managed to find time for involvement in films of mass appeal alongside smaller productions.

Despite all these things, Bello still finds time for humanitarian work. Together with Alison Thompson, Aleda Frishman, and Barbara Guillaume, she co-founded We Advance. The four set up the charitable organization in the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake to champion improvement of the healthcare system for Haitian women. Bello is also one of the board members of The CQ Matrix company. Only time will tell how her role in her upcoming thriller movie will be received.