Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) and Cynthia Mort (Tell Me You Love Me) have been developing the comedy Tilda at HBO for some time now, with Diane Keaton and Ellen Page rumored for the leads. And because HBO has proven they can get any star they darn well please (be it Martin Scorsese, Russell Crowe, or Kate Winslet), Keaton and Page have now officially signed on. Keaton will play Tilda, a “a powerful female online Hollywood journalist with a no-holds-barred style”, and Page will play Carolyn, a “morally conflicted creative assistant.”
Hit the jump for more on the project’s murky connection to real life blogger Nikki Finke, details on where the series won’t set up production, and what this announcement means for the HBO comedy Stitch N’ Bitch that Page is developing.
The character of Tilda appears to be based on the feared/loathed/respected online journalist Nikki Finke, as some of the events described in the pilot script reportedly resemble anecdotes from her life. The titular character’s name even resembles Finke’s obnoxious catchphrase “Toldja” if you squint.
The EW report that confirms the casting of Page and Keaton suggests that Tilda is “set to start shooting next month in New York” — production very well may begin next month, but per our sources, it will not be in New York. Because if you’re going to make a show about a Hollywood blogger, you should shoot in, you know, Hollywood. I hear the townsfolk are used to that kind of thing by now.
This represents Page’s second dip in the HBO pool, as she’s also producing the comedy Stitch N’ Bitch with Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) and Sean Tillman (Whip It), which will follow “two painfully cool hipster girls as they relocate from Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood to Los Angeles.” There was a possibility that Whip It co-stars Page and Shawkat would assume the lead roles in the project, though I would think Page’s commitment to Tilda may preclude her from doing so. She is, after all, still a budding movie star — Page will next be seen on screen this summer in the sci-fi dreamscape of Chris Nolan’s highly anticipated Inception.
Keaton’s next project teams her with Harrison Ford and Rachel McAdams for the romantic comedy Morning Glory (check out the trailer here). Tilda will help in Condon’s effort to be a very busy man, as it was recently announced that he would direct Breaking Dawn, the fourth and final chapter of the Twilight saga.