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Elle & Dakota Fanning To Play The Shaggs In A Biopic?

by Kevin Jagernauth
March 4, 2011 5:35 AM
6 Comments
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How do you prevent sibling rivalry? Do a movie together. Not a band plan at all, but when it's something as potentially amazing as this, we hope the Fanning sisters work collaboratively more often.

Vulture reports that Elle and Dakota Fanning are coming onboard a gestating biopic of rock 'n roll oddities The Shaggs. The story goes like this: 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 but not without a particularly sloppy charm. Regardless, they were a popular local band in Fermont, New Hampshire and they issued one album "The Philosophy Of The World" which was roundly savaged by critics (though Frank Zappa famously said they were better than The Beatles). The band broke up following the death of their father in 1975, but fast-forward a couple of decades later, a new appreciation of sorts of their work emerged with re-issues and a tribute album. It's a totally bonkers story so no wonder a feature film has long been in the works.

Back in 2000, music video director Katherine Dieckmann (who also helmed the brutal Uma Thurman comedy "Motherhood"), got attached to the project when it was set up at the now shuttered Artisan Entertainment. Tom Cruise and Paul Wagner had also optioned a New Yorker article "Meet The Shaggs" for a possible film that never materialized.

With the Fannings coming aboard it looks like there's new life in the project, but it seems it's pretty early stages still. No word yet on when it will shoot but pitching a movie about a band with terrible music is a hard one, though, with the Fannings involved, it should open some new doors to get it running. We hope it does get moving because it's a truly weird piece of music history and we're glad to see the Fannings teaming up for interesting material. Check out The Shaggs below and judge their talent for yourself.


The Shaggs "It's Halloween"


The Shaggs "Philosophy Of The World"


The Shaggs "You're Something Special To Me"

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6 Comments

  • Court | March 22, 2012 2:22 PMReply

    The shaggs goes way beyond not having any musical talent. Their story and how they were forced to play music non stop from their father Austin and how they actually never really wanted to play live is a amazing story for its oddity and I imagine this film to really point out the troubling family dinamic that was happening not just how awful the musical talent was. That would be to easy. I am extremely excited for this film. Could care less who stares i am more interested in how this story will look on the big screen.

  • Leomikel | March 13, 2011 11:09 AMReply

    Good Grief!! Tell me they're not serious about making a movie out of this? Has the movie industry filmed every story & idea that has ever been told? Why don't come to my place and make a motion picture about my child's new adult teeth or something...
    Come on...don't insult us with this nonsense....

  • MisterEd | March 6, 2011 12:28 AMReply

    Okaaay.... Never heard of the Shaggs until today. And after listening to those audio bits.... Jesus.... why are they making a movie based on THAT? Something aside from their music must be driving this film project because it makes zero sense to waste good talent on a group that have none of it.

  • Gabe Toro | March 4, 2011 11:19 AMReply

    This is my all-time favorite band.

  • Mel_M | March 4, 2011 11:12 AMReply

    There is a Shaggs Wikipedia page and you can hear more samples from their album "Philosophy of the World," at amazon. I really don't care about having both girls in a movie and don't see any big deal about it. A good movie is what I want to watch--not some sort of "sister act."

  • me | March 4, 2011 10:53 AMReply

    whats with Elle and Dakota?
    totally Disrespectful Dakota is the Elder and more famous

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