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Thesps splash in ‘Water’

Giamatti, Howard set for Shyamalan pic

Days after setting his next film, “Lady in the Water,” at Warner Bros., M. Night Shyamalan is moving quickly to set Paul Giamatti and Bryce Dallas Howard in the starring roles.

Shyamalan has for several days been courting Giamatti to play a building super who finds a sea nymph in his apartment building’s pool, and he has tapped Howard to play the title character.

WB will make formal offers to both thesps today for an August start date and a July 2006 release.

Sam Mercer is producing the project through Shyamalan’s Blinding Edge shingle.

Pic will mark a reteaming for Shyamalan and Howard, who starred in his last film, “The Village.” She replaced Nicole Kidman in the Lars von Trier-directed “Manderlay” and next stars for Kenneth Branagh in the HBO Films-financed theatrical feature “As You Like It.” She also will play the title role in “Mary Queen of Scots” for Warner Independent Pictures.

Giamatti is coming off “Sideways” and will next be seen starring opposite Russell Crowe and Renee Zellweger in the Ron Howard-directed “Cinderella Man.”

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