Actress to play Nic Cage's lost love

Monica Bellucci has joined the cast of Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”

She will play Veronica, a sorceress and the long-lost love of Nicolas Cage’s character, Balthazar Blake.

Pic, which revolves around a sorcerer who recruits and trains a young protege to help him fight the forces of darkness in modern-day Manhattan, is shooting in New York City with Jon Turteltaub at the helm.

Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer and Toby Kebbell round out the cast.

Exec producing “Apprentice” are Cage and his Saturn Films partner Norm Golightly as well as Todd Garner, Barry Waldman and Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ Mike Stenson and Chad Oman.

Pic is skedded for release on July 16, 2010.

Italian thesp Bellucci, who appeared in “The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions,” will next be seen here in Rebecca Miller’s “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.”

Bellucci stars alongside Sophie Marceau in the French film “Ne te retourne pas” (“Don’t Look Back”), which preems Saturday at the Cannes Film Festival.

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