Maria Bello and sisters Sophie Nelisse (“The Book Thief”) and Isabelle Nelisse (“Mama”) will star in the ghost story “Wait Till Helen Comes.”

Dominic James is directing “Helen,” which has a $10 million production budget, from a script by Victoria Sanchez Mandryk. Shooting is set to start  Sept. 29 in Winnipeg, with a 35-day shoot planned.

The project, adapted from the 1986 novel by Mary Downing Hahn, is a Caramel Film Production in association with Mednick Productions. The story centers on a house haunted by the tormented ghost of a little girl.

Production companies are Caramel Film, Just Believe Productions, DCP Mystery Arts and Inferno Pictures. Producers are Andre Rouleau of Caramel Films; Sanchez Mandryk of Just Believe Productions; Don Carmody of DCP Mystery Arts and Ian Dimerman of Inferno Pictures.

Rouleau said the producers are aiming for a target audience of children older than 8, young adults and families.

“We’d like to get the same audience as ‘The Sixth Sense,” he added. “There will be no gore, but it will be scary.”

Sanchez Mandryk told Variety that she first read “Wait Till Helen Comes” as a 12-year-old.

“The story always stuck with me, more than any other,” she noted. “It was such a thrill when I first talked with Mary Downing Hahn.”

Bello will play the stepmother part. Sophie Nelisse will portray Molly while Isabelle will play Heather, a 7-year-old who becomes friends with a lonely ghost named Helen Harper.

In 2011,Jennifer Love Hewitt was attached to make her feature directing debut for the project.

Bello starred in “Prisoners” and the upcoming “Max Steel” and “McFarland USA.” Sophie Nelisse appeared in “Pawn Sacrifice” and revealed last month on her Twitter account that she was starring in “Wait Till Helen Comes.”


Isabelle then posted a tweet about the movie on her account on Sept. 3.


Rouleau’s producing credits include “What If,” “Delivery Man” and “Goon.” Carmody’s credits include “Pompeii,” “Goon” and “Chicago,” on which he was a co-producer. Dimerman was also a producer on “Goon.”