The upcoming This Is Spinal Tap sequel just got a lot more star-studded. In an interview on the RHLSTP With Richard Herring podcast, the original film’s director and co-writer, Rob Reiner, revealed that the sequel will feature guest appearances by Paul McCartney, Elton John, and Garth Brooks. “A few other surprises” along those lines are also in the works, with filming set to begin in February.
Reiner announced last year that he and the principal cast of the peerless 1984 mockumentary are reuniting for the project. He will reprise his role as director behind-the-scenes and in character as fake filmmaker Marty DiBergi, as will Christopher Guest (Nigel Tufnel), Michael McKean (David St. Hubbins), and Harry Shearer (Derek Smalls), who together comprise the core members of the fictional hard rock outfit.
He said the idea is based around the now-septuagenarian Spinal Tap reforming to fulfill a contractual obligation with their late manager Ian Faith (Tony Hendra, who portrayed the character in the original film, died in 2021). “Ian’s widow inherited a contract that said Spinal Tap owed them one more concert,” Reiner said, likening the concept to the Band’s 1976 concert documentary The Last Waltz. “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.”
Guest, McKean and Shearer have occasionally reprised their Spinal Tap characters for TV specials and live performances since the original movie, and even released a new album in 2009, Back From the Dead. Ric Parnell, who played doomed Spinal Tap drummer Mick Shrimpton, died last May at the age of 70.
In related news, Shearer is back in character as Smalls for the release of a deluxe edition of his 2018 album Smalls Change, which has been expanded with two previously unreleased live tracks. The original LP sports guest appearances from the late Taylor Hawkins, Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen, Yes’ Rick Wakeman, Joe Satriani, and Steve Vai.