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One Louder: ‘This is Spinal Tap’ Sequel Announced

Sara Horton
Photo Credit: Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Getty Images

Nearly 40 years after making his directorial debut with the cult classic rock mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, Rob Reiner is set to helm a sequel alongside many of the original cast members.

Spinal Tap II will feature Harry Shearer as Derek Smalls, Michael McKean as David St. Hubbins and Christopher Guest as Nigel Tufnel, central members of the fictional British heavy metal band. Reiner will also reprise his role as filmmaker Marty DiBergi, in addition to directing.

The film will be released in 2024, on the 1984 original’s 40th anniversary.

A long-awaited follow-up to the original

Rob Reiner and Christopher Guest in character

Rob Reiner and Christopher Guest in a scene from This is Spinal Tap, 1984. (Photo Credit: Embassy Pictures / MovieStillsDB)

In an interview with Deadline, Reiner said that people have been clamoring for a sequel for ages. “I can tell you hardly a day goes by without someone saying, why don’t you do another 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.”

This Is Spinal Tap introduced many catchphrases into popular culture, including “up to 11,” from the scene where guitarist Tufnel demonstrates an extra-loud amplifier with volume knobs marked from zero to 11, instead of the usual 10. The film also helped to popularize the “mockumentary” film genre.

The band performing "Stonehenge" in 'This is Spinal Tap'

The band performing “Stonehenge” in This is Spinal Tap, 1984. (Photo Credit: Embassy Pictures / MovieStillsDB)

Shearer, McKean and Guest wrote the music and lyrics for the original film and have toured as a band in the past. The film’s soundtrack was rereleased in 2000 and includes titles like “Hell Hole,” “Stonehenge” “Big Bottom,” “Lick My Love Pump” and the iconic “Smell the Glove.”

The band will reunite for one final concert

The cast of 'This is Spinal Tap' pose together at a red carpet event

Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, Michael McKean and Rob Reiner attend the This Is Spinal Tap 35th Anniversary during the Tribeca Film Festival at the Beacon Theatre on April 27, 2019 in New York City. (Photo Credit: Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

Reiner shared some details about the sequel with Deadline. “The [guys] haven’t spent any time together recently, and that became the premise,” he said. The band’s manager passes away and his wife inherits a contract stipulating that they perform one last show.

“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,” with Reiner’s character, again, documenting the group.

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The sequel will likely be better received than the original, which garnered critical acclaim, but confused audiences. “The first time we screened in Dallas, they didn’t know what the hell it was,” Reiner said.

“People came up to me and said, I don’t understand why would you make a movie about a band no one has heard of and is so bad. Why would you do it? I said, it’s satire and I would explain, but it took a while for people to catch up to it. Now, it’s in the National Film Registry.”