Bello, Crowe, Beaufoy team at HBO

Actress to star in drama 'Emergency Sex'

Maria Bello has teamed with Oscar winners Simon Beaufoy and Russell Crowe for a series project in the works at HBO.

Bello is set to star in the drama "Emergency Sex," which is being written by "Slumdog Millionaire" scribe Beaufoy and executive produced by Bello, Beaufoy and Crowe.

Inspired by the book "Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures: A True Story From Hell on Earth," by Kenneth Cain, Heidi Postlewait and Andrew Thomson, the project revolves around the larger-than-life exploits of expatriate nongovernment-organization workers who find their sanity tested in the face of atrocities, loneliness and primal desires.

The book chronicles the real-life experiences of Cain, Postlewait and Thomson, who met in Cambodia during the 1990s as members of a UN peacekeeping mission.

In addition to Crowe -- who purchased rights to the book for a screen adaptation -- Bello and Beaufoy, "Emergency" is produced by Bello's manager, John Carrabino.

Crowe's development executive, Keith Rodger, is expected to serve as producer on the project.

Bello ("A History of Violence") has a long-standing relationship with HBO. She developed another series project for the cable network in 2008.

The actress, repped by CAA, stars in John Wells' film "The Company Men," which is creating buzz at the Sundance Film Festival. She also has been courted by the broadcast networks this pilot season.

Crowe, who next stars in "Robin Hood," is repped by WME.

"Emergency" would mark the series debut for feature writer Beaufoy, whose next collaboration with "Slumdog" director Danny Boyle, "127 Hours," is slated to begin filming this year.

Beaufoy is managed by Susan Landau.