Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

According to an exclusive report from Vulture, the Fanning sisters, Dakota and Elle, are considering teaming up to play two-thirds of infamous sibling rock band The Shaggs in a biopic. Beloved by record store clerks looking to annoy their customers, championed by fans like Kurt Cobain, NRBQ, and Frank Zappa (who famously called them “better than the Beatles”), The Shaggs were comprised of four New Hampshire sisters under the Svengali direction of their father, Austin Wiggin, who pulled his daughters out of school and forced them to submit to daily music education, all because a palm reader once told his mother that her son would sire a famous girl group.

The Shaggs’ resulting sole album, 1969’s Philosophy Of The World, was beyond primitive, something like the sound of a lost civilization who’d discovered guitars, drums, and a Monkees album in the jungle, then attempted to cut their own record about an hour later. Naturally, Philosophy Of The World came to be regarded as a proto-punk landmark, its charmingly determined ineptitude and astounding, absolute shunning of all musical convention—though completely accidental—making it a touchstone for all bands predicated on not giving a shit.


A biopic has actually been in the making for over a decade now under the direction of Katherine Dieckmann, a former creator of music videos for groups like R.E.M. and Throwing Muses and director on The Adventures Of Pete And Pete, and the person who recently helmed the Uma Thurman pic Motherhood (which was its own example of determined ineptitude). Shaggs fans probably shouldn’t get too excited yet: There’s been no official announcement of production, and of course, it seems odd that Dakota Fanning would want to star in yet another proto-punk rock biopic so soon after The Runaways. (Not to mention that both Fannings would need to pack on some serious pounds to properly portray the hefty Wiggin sisters.) But hopefully this rumor—as well as the upcoming off-Broadway musical The Shaggs: Philosophy Of The World debuting this summer—will finally spur someone to get rolling on this wonderfully awful story after all these years.

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