Few novelty bands have captured the imagination quite like The Shaggs. Here’s a quick history lesson, if you’re still playing catch up: three sisters — Dot, Betty, and Helen — formed a band in 1968, even though they had no musical talent, because their grandmother had a session with a palm reader who envisioned their future fame and fortune and told their father who put them together as a group. Naturally, they were terrible, and their one album The Philosophy Of The World, was roundly savaged by critics, and they broke up following the death of their father in 1975. However, a couple of decades later, a new appreciation of sorts of their work emerged with re-issues and a tribute album. Their story has been attractive to Hollywood who have been trying to bring it the big screen for at least a decade, if not longer, and now an unlikey director is going to give it a whirl.
Ken Kwapis, the helmer behind milquetoast fare like “Big Miracle,” “He’s Just Not That Into You” and “License To Wed” — as well as episodes of several sitcoms including “The Office” and “Parks & Recreation” — is developing a movie adaptation of the off Broadway musical, “The Shaggs: Philosophy Of The World.” He’s teaming with writer Joy Gregory, who wrote a book about the band, to help put things together, and it’s something Kwapis has been chasing since 2003 when he first saw the stage show.
Now if and when this happens remains to be seen. We don’t exactly see a major studio putting money into this when something like the no brainer, star studded “Rock Of Ages” tanked with a cast of big names and recognizable songs. Asking audiences to show up for something with terrible music is a tall order. And let’s not forget a couple of years ago Elle and Dakota Fanning were attached to lead a different movie about the band, but that precisely went nowhere. But if The Shaggs taught anybody anything, it’s to keep dreaming, so maybe this will see a theater near you, someday. [Deadline]