Spinal Tap reform to fight lawsuit

The fake band has launched real legal action seeking $400m

Spinal Tap reform to fight lawsuit

This is Spinal Tap / Facebook

The stars of the 1984 rockumentary This Is Spinal Tap have come together to launch a $400m (€375.6m) lawsuit against media firm Vivendi.

Harry Shearer who plays bassist Derek Smalls is suing Vivendi - the French conglomerate which owns Canal+ and the Universal Music Group.

The actor - who voices a number of Simpsons characters, including Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, and Mr Burns - says he's not gotten his full share of the film's profits since he bought the rights to the picture in 1989.

He was originally seeking $125m - his fellow actors Christopher Guest and Michael McKean and director Rob Reiner joining the case brings the total amount that the group is looking to recover to $400m.

They claim that Vivendi denied them their fair share through accounting practices and failure to live up to the agreed terms of contacts.

The main focus of the case is sales of the film's iconic soundtrack and additional merchandise.

Spinal Tap's members say they only received $98 in royalties from the soundtrack between 1989 and 2006 - and an additional $81 for merchandise sales.

Commenting on the legal action, Mr Shearer previously stated, "It is stunning that after all this time, two cinema releases, all the various home-video format releases, all the records and CDs, and all the band-themed merchandise still widely available worldwide, the only people who haven’t shared Spinal Tap’s success are those who formed the band and created the film in the first place."

Mr Reiner added, "Fair reward for artistic endeavour has long been raised by those on the wrong end of the equation ... Such anti-competitive practices need to be exposed. I am hoping this lawsuit goes to 11."

"The movie’s influence on the last three decades of film comedy is something we are very proud of. But the buck always stopped somewhere short of Rob, Harry, Chris and myself. It’s time for a reckoning. It’s only right," he added, speaking to The Guardian.