HBO has passed on the comedy pilot Tilda, which starred Diane Keaton as a powerful and reclusive Hollywood blogger (not unlike Deadline’s Nikki Finke). The hot pilot had a great pedigree – co-written by Bill Condon and Cynthia Mort, directed by Condon, and starring Keaton, Ellen Page and Jason Patric. But a rift between Condon and Mort during the production of the pilot became messy and ultimately public. Then after the pilot was deep-sixed, HBO tried hard to make the show work by ordering additional scripts and hiring Six Feet Under alum Alan Poul, Alexa Junge and John Hoffman as executive producers. But the option on the actors was set to expire in mid-March, and HBO gave the thumbs down ”despite everyone’s best efforts”, the pay cable network said in a statement today. While Tilda was conceived and written and developed without Finke’s knowledge or involvement, word is HBO is still interested in a show about her, this time with her on board from the beginning.
HBO has opted not to go forward with All Signs of Death, its dark comedic drama pilot based on Charlie Huston’s 2009 crime noir novel The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death. The project, which was picked up to pilot in July, was written by Huston, with Ball directing and executive producing. Word is HBO brass ultimately couldn’t find a spot for the show. All Signs, which experimented with smaller, portable cameras for a cinema verite style, centers on an inveterate twenty-something slacker (Ben Whishaw) who stumbles into a career as a crime scene cleaner, only to find himself entangled with a murder mystery, a femme fatale and the loose ends of his own past. All Signs joins another 2010 HBO pilot, Miraculous Year, which didn’t go to series. Of the rest of the pay cable network’s 2010 crop of pilots, Michael Mann/David Milch collaboration Luck has already been ordered to series. The Diane Keaton starrer Tilda is still awaiting word while backup scripts are being written and reshoots on the pilot are being done. The Justin Theroux/Steve Coogan comedy Documental and the Lena Dunham/Judd Apatow comedy Girls are in post-production, while the Armando Iannucci’s comedy Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, is now casting for an early 2011 start.
HBO has yet to make a decision whether it will pick up comedy pilot Tilda to series but it has put in place a team in case it does. Six Feet Under alum Alan Poul has come on board as an executive producer. Writers Alexa Junge and John Hoffman have also been brought in as executive producers and to work with co-creator/executive producer Bill Condon on conceptualizing the potential series. Condon directed the pilot for Tilda from a script he co-wrote with Cynthia Mort. Tilda stars Diane Keaton as a powerful and reclusive Hollywood blogger (not unlike Nikki Finke) and boasts an A-list cast including Ellen Page and Jason Patric. The pilot was shot in June but the show has had a rocky production and post-production run marred by creative differences.
Considering how many inaccurate media claims have been made regarding myself and the potential series Tilda for HBO, I wish to set the record straight. I had no prior knowledge that this show was being created or put into development. I have never written about the show. I have never encouraged Deadline.com journalists to write about the show. I had no prior agreement with HBO or anyone regarding the show. I had no creative or consulting involvement with the show.
So why am I making my first and last statement about Tilda today?
Only because there is an agreement now in place among myself, Deadline’s parent company MMC, and Watski productions (which is producing the Tilda pilot) negotiated solely on my behalf by attorney Tal Vigderson. I still have no creative or consulting involvement with the show nor wanted any. I still won’t write about the show. And Deadline.com journalists can still write whatever they want about the show.
As for all of you who’ve asked for a quote from me about Tilda, here it is: “It should have been called Toldja!”