Rob Reiner is getting the band back together.
Four decades after introducing audiences to Spinal Tap, a British heavy metal band with big hair that far outweighs their actual talent, Reiner and his comic collaborators Michael McKean (as guitarist David St. Hubbins), Harry Shearer (bassist Derek Smalls) and Christopher Guest (lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel) are returning to the scene of the musical crime with “Spinal Tap II.” Reiner, who directs and co-stars in the film as documentary-maker Marty DiBergi, is hitting the Cannes Film Festival to round up backing for the sequel and to present a special screening of the 1984 original “This is Spinal Tap” as part of the Cinema de la Plage sidebar on Wednesday.
“I’ve never done a sequel, and I’ve never wanted to do one until now,” says Reiner. “We have fun. We enjoy hanging out with each other and we’re probably not going to get a chance like this to work together again.”
The project emerged after Reiner, Guest, Shearer and McKean kicked around the idea of doing a book.
“It was going to be an oral history of the band,” says Reiner. “For half we’d be in character, and talk about the band’s lives and how they came together and what they’ve been up to. In the other half we’d be ourselves and talk about the experience of making the film.”
But that got him thinking about leaving the camera rolling and over Zoom calls with the other members of the group it became clear there was enough material for a movie. Like the 1984 original, “Spinal Tap II” won’t have a script. It will be entirely improvised.
There will be a structure, however. In this case, Reiner and his colleagues are looking to Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Waltz,” a seminal rock documentary about the Band’s “farewell concert” at Winterland Ballroom, for inspiration. He’s hoping to attract other pop stars and bands to appear and has been doing outreach to line up acts.
“The idea is that the band hasn’t seen each other for 10 or 15 years and they come back for one more tour and one thing leads to another,” says Reiner. “Once we get started, we’ll figure things out. We only had the barebones of an idea on the first movie.”
It sounds like a proper sendoff for the geniuses behind “Sex Farm.”