Diane Keaton to Play a Thinly Veiled Nikki Finke for HBO

Yesterday, Deadline Hollywood ran a little piece of self-promotion when it confirmed that Diane Keaton and Ellen Page are both set to star in HBO’s new half hour comedy pilot,Tilda. Directed by Bill Condon, the show features Keaton as a powerful Hollywood blogger with a “no holds barred style” that’s clearly modeled on Deadline’s own Nikki Finke, the hard-charging doyenne of online tinsel-town news and gossip. So just how similar is the character? So much so that THR has posited that a lawsuit might not be out of the question.

After reading a copy of the script, Matthew Belloni reported that Finke and Tilda share more than a little common. Tilda claims that she hasn’t been photographed in years; as it happens, there’s only recent public photo of Finke. Tilda rarely leaves the house for fear of running into those she may have vilified, ditto Finke. Then there’s the minor detail that Tilda is said to have been fired from Newsweek and at one time had to sell her car to pay back taxes, just as Finke was fired from the New York Post and sold her Honda Accord to cover some bills. There are even some direct quotes. At one point Tilda says of herself that she isn’t mean per se, she just “writes mean.” That’s Finke in a New York Times interview last year.

It will be interesting to see what, if any, response Finke has to the show. She has a history of litigiousness, but Tilda could potentially be a publicity boon for her as well. If it moves forward, expect a Seinfeld-ian degree of art imitating life. Maybe Tilda will come to sue an imaginary network that’s planning to do an unauthorized show about her?

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