Photo: The Shaggs onlineThe Shaggs, a ‘60s rock band formed by three sisters – Dot, Betty and Helen Wiggins -- with no musical background after their grandmother visited a fortune teller who predicted great fame for them, are going to be the subject of a new film. Ken Kwapis, who is best known for directing “He's Just Not That Into You,” is slated to helm the film.
Known primarily for being more enthusiastic than good -- Rolling Stone magazine dismissed the band as sounding like “lobotomized Trapp Family singers” -- The Shaggs attained a huge cult following, based almost entirely off the raw, naïve tunes found on their single studio album, “Philosophy of the World.” Frank Zappa even famously once declared that the Shaggs were “better than the Beatles.”
All that cult fame even lead to a 2003 off-Broadway play “The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World,” which will reportedly be the basis of Kwapis’ movie.
The band dissolved in 1975 when Austin Wiggins, the band’s manager and the band member’s father died suddenly of a massive heart attack. For years filmmakers have been trying to get the strange tale of the Shaggs up on the silver screen, but with no luck. Dakota and Elle Fanning were briefly attached to star at one point, but that ultimately fell through. Neither have any connection as yet to this new film.
Little else is know about Kwapis' film. Getting funding for a large scale rock opera might be unlikely from studios following the box-office disappointment of last summer’s “Rock of Ages.” But then, getting the film off the ground wouldn’t be any more unlikely than The Shaggs improbably route to cult fame.