Spinal Tap, a very fake band that has had a very real career, is about to return to its roots. A sequel to the 1984 mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap is being prepped to celebrate the film’s 40th anniversary, Deadline reported today, with all the key figures on board. Rob Reiner is scheduled to direct again, reprising his role as Marty DiBergi. Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer have also signed on to once again play Nigel Tufnel, David St. Hubbins, and Derek Smalls—the three core members of Spinal Tap, who kept the band running for decades alongside a revolving series of doomed drummers.
This Is Spinal Tap popularized the mockumentary with its hilarious and cringeworthy look at a delusional heavy metal band stuck in a career decline. Guest would go on to revisit the mockumentary form with a series of genre-defining films, including Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show. Spinal Tap, the band, hasn’t appeared in film since 1984, but Guest, McKean, and Shearer have periodically put the band back together a number of times over the decades, releasing new albums in 1992 and 2009, running a few tours, and making various special appearances on TV shows and music festivals. Sadly, their longtime drummer Ric Parnell, the former Atomic Rooster member who played Mick Shrimpton in the movie and participated in Tap activities into the ‘90s, passed away earlier this month.
Speaking to Deadline, Reiner mentioned how fans have clamored for a sequel for decades, but that he and his co-creators never felt the right inspiration. “You don’t want to just do it, to do it. You want to honor the first one,” he told Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. Reiner also talked about how the new film, which is provisionally scheduled for release on March 19, 2024, will deal with the band trying to reconnect after a decade of inactivity after the death of their manager, Ian Faith (Tony Hendra, the National Lampoon writer who played Faith in the movie, passed away in 2021.)
Revisiting a classic is always tricky, and few comedies are as beloved and influential as This Is Spinal Tap. McKean, Guest, Shearer, and Reiner will have their work cut out for ‘em. For more info, go read Deadline’s story.