Rob Reiner has announced he, Harry Shearer, Michael McKean, and Christopher Guest will begin filming a “Spinal Tap” sequel in February.
It sounds like it might be based on a “Last Waltz” type of final concert by the fictitious band, with guest appearances by Elton John, Paul McCartney, and Garth Brooks. While the original was brilliant and I admire everyone involved, I worry that, thirty years later, it may be too late to bring those characters back for a new, purely nostalgic adventure.
Furthermore, the mockumentary style Reiner used in the original may no longer seem as fresh as it once did, having been employed ad nauseam in the intervening years by so many others (including Guest’s own “Waiting For Guffman,” “Best In Show,” and “A Mighty Wind”).
“This Is Spinal Tap” wasn’t even the first of the genre. In 1978, Eric Idle and Gary Weis set the standard with their ultra-clever bio of The Rutles, “All You Need Is Cash.” And Reiner’s buddy Albert Brooks picked up the mockumentary ball and ran with it the following year in his first big-screen movie, “Real Life.”
In fact, Reiner/Shearer/McKean/Guest have already been down this path with “The Return Of Spinal Tap” in 1992, which hardly anyone saw at the time and has been unavailable since. I’d hate to see that happen again.