They’re getting the band back together. Deadline reports that This is Spinal Tap, the iconic, influential and endlessly quotable 1984 hard rock mockumentary, is getting a sequel, with Rob Reiner returning to direct and original stars/writers Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer reprising their roles as Nigel Tufnel, David St Hubbins and Derek Smalls.
The news broke at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, where the original Spinal Tap is set to screen next week. Reiner, who will also be back in front of the camera as documentarian Marty DiBergi, told Deadline that the plan is to have it ready for the 40th anniversary of the first one. “For so many years, we said, ‘nah.’ It wasn’t until we came up with the right idea how to do this. You don’t want to just do it, to do it. You want to honor the first one and push it a little further with the story.”
So what’s the right idea? “They’ve played Albert Hall, played Wembley Stadium, all over the country and in Europe,” Reiner told Deadline. “They haven’t spent any time together recently, and that became the premise. The idea was that Ian Faith, who was their manager, he passed away. In reality, Tony Hendra passed away. Ian’s widow inherited a contract that said Spinal Tap owed them one more concert. She was basically going to sue them if they didn’t. All these years and a lot of bad blood we’ll get into and they’re thrown back together and forced to deal with each other and play this concert.”
When This is Spinal Tap was released in 1984, there was really nothing else like it, but so much of it has since entered the public lexicon, from “this one goes to 11” to “Puppet show and…” and “What’s wrong with being sexy?,” to name three. The sequel has a lot to live up to, something their two-hour 1992 The Return of Spinal Tap television special promoting the band’s “comeback” album, Break Like the Wind, failed to do. But Guest, Shearer and McKean are all smart, funny guys who have spent a lot of time working in the mockumentary format — including playing folk group The Folksmen in 2003 film A Mighty Wind — so here’s hoping this one goes to at least an 8.
Watch clips from the original This is Spinal Tap below.