Director Gia Coppola and her prodco Detour have partnered with non-fiction studio XTR, and Jason Bateman and Michael Costigan’s Aggregate Films for a feature-length doc about boy-band fandom, which is currently in production.
Based on journalist Maria Sherman’s book Larger Than Life: A History of Boy Bands from NKOTB to BTS, the documentary — titled superfans: screaming. crying. throwing up. — will explore the fever-pitch obsession that “pre-fab” music groups such as New Kids on the Block, the Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, One Direction and BTS have inspired among their largely female fanbases. The doc will also cover the massive marketing machine that transformed fans’ devotion into billions of dollars in profits for the music industry.
The film will also detail how this much-derided cultural phenomenon can have progressive, liberatory and life-affirming effects for self-declared “superfans,” from the LGBTQ movements that coalesced to fight homophobic bullying within One Direction fandom to BTS fans’ support of Black Lives Matter.
The doc represents the first non-fiction outing for director Coppola, who has previously helmed the narrative features Palo Alto and Mainstream, and cut music videos for Canadian pop sensation Carly Rae Jepsen.
“I’m a proud pop fangirl, so the opportunity to translate Maria’s contemporary, sharp, fun book into documentary form, a format I’ve been craving to dabble in, is beyond exciting,” Coppola commented in a press release.
Coppola will also produce the doc through her Detour shingle. The source book’s author Sherman will be an executive producer on the film, along with Kathryn Everett, Kathleen Flood and Justin Lacob from XTR, and Jason Bateman, Michael Costigan and Emma Ho from Aggregate Films.
The superfans announcement comes shortly after it was revealed that another boy-band project from XTR, the HBO Max docuseries Menudo: Forever Young, will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 11 prior to debuting on the streamer on June 23.