Divisive Rock Group The Shaggs Get A Musical Biopic From Ken Kwapis
Have you heard of The Shaggs? Depending on whom you ask, they were either the greatest thing to come out of 1960s rock n' roll, or the very worst. Urged by their father to form a band, The Shaggs was made up of sisters Dorothy, Betty, and Helen Wiggin, who played lead guitar, rhythm guitar, and drums respectively. Though the only ever released one studio album, 1969's Philosophy of the World, the group's unconventional and atonal music eventually found appreciators in the likes of such groundbreaking musicians as Kurt Cobain and Frank Zappa. And now, they are getting a biopic thanks to Ken Kwapis.
Deadline reports the director of such comedies as He's Just Not That Into You and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is developing a movie musical based on the off-Broadway stage production The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World. Screenwriter/producer Joy Gregory, who wrote the musical's book, will be adapting the screenplay and will produce alongside Kwapis, who will also direct. No mention is made as to whether or not the music and lyrics by her collaborator Gunnar Madsen will be included, though it seems likely.
Kwapis has been pursuing this project since he first saw the musical staged in 2003 out in Los Angeles. He and Gregory have since acquired the life rights to the band's two surviving members, Betty and Dorothy. Both will serve as consultants on the film. Speaking of The Shaggs and their music, Kwapis offered:
“Most people are startled when they hear The Shaggs for the first time. Their sound is awkward and unpolished, but their songs have a purity of expression that no amount of musical training can give you. And behind the music is a powerful story of three girls who yearn to rise above their meager existence, while under the yoke of demanding father who believes they are destined for greatness.”
Curious what all the fuss is about? Check out the band's title track below:
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