Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Spinal Tap II - What We Know So Far

The 1984 mockumentary "This Is Spinal Tap" masterfully parodies the life of excess lived by rock musicians and the worst of their hangers-on. In addition to directing, Rob Reiner stars in the movie as filmmaker Marty DiBergi, and the subject of his film-within-a-film — fictional British rock band Spinal Tap — is made up of guitarist Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest), singer-guitarist David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean), and bassist Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer). A rotating cast of drummers suffer a number of bizarre deaths, including Eric "Stumpy Joe" Childs (Russ Kunkel), who chokes on someone else's vomit, and Mick Shrimpton (R.J. Parnell), who suddenly explodes on stage (via IMDb). 

Upon its release, "This is Spinal Tap" became wildly popular, earning a 95% Tomatometer from critics and a 92% score from more than 100,000 happy viewers. Notably, the film remains wildly popular. In 2002, the Library of Congress even added "This Is Spinal Tap" to the National Film Registry, an honor bestowed upon fewer than 1,000 films. Despite the film's immense popularity, "Spinal Tap" fans had to wait nearly four decades for word of a sequel. 

However, in May 2022, Deadline reported that a sequel was finally in the works. Here's what we know so far about "Spinal Tap II," including the release date, cast, and plot.

What is the release date for Spinal Tap II?

According to Deadline, the "Spinal Tap" sequel is currently set to hit theaters on March 19, 2024, a little more than two weeks after the 40th anniversary of the original movie's release. Sales for the film's distribution package will take place at this year's Cannes Film Festival, which will also screen the original "This Is Spinal Tap" on May 18. The sequel will be the first project for Castle Rock since reviving its film division more than six months ago (via Deadline). 

In an interview with Deadline, director Rob Reiner said the timing around the 40th anniversary was intentional, noting that he had often been asked when he would get to work on a sequel for the beloved film. "For so many years, we said 'nah,'" he relayed. "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."

Who is in the cast of Spinal Tap II?

Quite a few cast members from the original movie are already set to return to the franchise. Rob Reiner will work on both sides of the camera once more, directing the film and portraying Marty DiBergi. The core band members, Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest), David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean), and Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer), are all coming back as well. While there has been no word yet on how many drummers Spinal Tap will go through in the sequel, audiences can no doubt expect more than one actor in that spot. 

So far, it's also unclear whether Fran Drescher will reprise her role as Polymer Records artist relations rep Bobbi Flekman. However, Reiner told Deadline that the film may feature cameos from famous real-life musicians in the sequel. "Hopefully there will be some guest artists," he said. "We've had a lot of bands share their experiences and so hopefully we'll include some of that in the film."

Sadly, four of the original film's major players have died since the 1984 film was released. Bruno Kirby, who played limo driver Tommy Pischedda, died of leukemia in 2006 (via New York Times), and Tony Hendra, who portrayed band manager Ian Faith, died of Lou Gehrig's disease in 2021 (via New York Times). 2022 has also proven to be a difficult year for "This Is Spinal Tap" fans. Howard Hesseman, the actor who played rival musician Terry Ladd, died in January (via The Hollywood Reporter), and R.J. Parnell, the actor who played Mick Shrimpton, died only a few weeks prior to the sequel's announcement (via The Hollywood Reporter).

What is the plot of Spinal Tap II?

According to an interview with Rob Reiner, "Spinal Tap II" will build directly from the 38-year-old original and weave actor Tony Hendra's death into the concept. "The band was upset with the first film," Reiner said (via Deadline). "They thought I did a hatchet job, and this is a chance to redeem myself." 

The band, in turn, is dealing with their deceased manager's impatient widow, who has inherited a contract owing her one more Spinal Tap live show. "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," Reiner explained. 

DiBergi, who Reiner says now holds the lofty title of visiting adjunct teacher's helper at the prestigious and obviously (hopefully?) fictional Ed Wood School of Cinematic Arts (via Deadline), still considers himself a fan of the band and quickly signs on to film the reunion show. 

If the group's upcoming movie is anything like its first, it's certainly bound to be memorable.