Paul McCartney and Elton John will appear in the sequel to cult mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, for which filming is due to get under way early next year, it has been revealed.
Rob Reiner, director of the original 1984 release as well as the sequel, was speaking to comedian Richard Herring on the latter’s RHLSTP (Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast). Reiner told Herring, after the latter expressed his admiration for This Is Spinal Tap, that “everybody’s back” for the sequel and that filming would begin at the end of February.
Reiner also said that “Paul McCartney is joining us, and Elton John”, along with US country music star Garth Brooks.
News of plans to make a Spinal Tap sequel broke in May 2022, when the project was shopped at the Cannes film festival international market. Reiner said then: “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 honour the first one and push it a little further with the story.”
The original film’s main cast of Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest are due to return, although Tony Hendra, who played cricket-bat-wielding manager Ian Faith, died in 2021. The plot will reportedly centre on Faith’s death, after which his widow inherits a contract that requires the band to do one last concert. Reiner is also due to return in the character of film-maker Marty DiBergi, a figure supposedly based on Martin Scorsese, who had directed celebrated music documentary The Last Waltz in 1976.
In the podcast, Reiner also talked about This Is Spinal Tap’s remarkable afterlife, culminating in selection for the National Film Registry in 2002, after its initially unfavourable reception on its first release. “To wind up in the National Film Registry, that’s bizarre,” Reiner said. “We previewed it in a theatre in Dallas, Texas, and the people didn’t know what the heck they were looking at. They came up to me afterwards and said, ‘I don’t understand, why would you make a movie about a band that no one has ever heard of, and they are so bad? Why would you ever do that? Why don’t you make a movie about the Beatles or the Rolling Stones?’ I would say, ‘It’s satire,’ and I tried to explain. But over the years people got it, and started to like it.”