Bello steps in for 'Pippa'


Maria Bello is in final negotiations to take over for Maggie Gyllenhaal in Rebecca Miller's adaptation of her novel "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee."

Gyllenhaal had hoped to complete her portion in the ensemble cast within two weeks in Connecticut, playing star Robin Wright Penn's mother in several flashback sequences. But when the new scheduling stretched out her shoot over five weeks, she chose to stay with Peter Sarsgaard and their newborn as he films "An Education" in the U.K.

The departure was amicable given her close friendship with co-star Julianne Moore and the producers, who also made her acclaimed indie "SherryBaby." Gyllenhaal is considering other screen roles in the coming weeks.

Her loss is a gain for Bello, who happens to bear a closer resemblance to the lead actress. The film centers on the title character (Wright Penn), whose life begins to unravel after her husband leaves her.

Bello is repped by CAA and John Carrabino Management. Gyllenhaal is repped by CAA and Courtney Kivowitz of Benderspink.