The mock-rock band hope that strength in numbers could boost the claim up to as much as $400m.
The cast and creators of This Is Spinal Tap are reuniting for a lawsuit over missing profits from the mock-rockumentary. Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and director Rob Reiner have joined Harry Shearer in a fight with media firm Vivendi which they’ve vowed to “go up to 11.”
As the Guardian reports, the complaint alleges that Vivendi manipulated accounting data, having reported that the total income from soundtrack music sales was just $98 for the years 1989 and 2006, alongside other dubious claims.
“Fair reward for artistic endeavour has long been raised by those on the wrong end of the equation,” said Reiner in a statement. “What makes this case so egregious is the prolonged and deliberate concealment of profit and the purposeful manipulation of revenue allocation between various Vivendi subsidiaries – to the detriment of the creative talent behind the band and film.
“Such anti-competitive practices need to be exposed,” he continued, before taking his cue from the film’s famous line about a Marshall amp’s extreme volume capabilities: “I am hoping this lawsuit goes to 11.”
The rights to Reiner’s massively successful 1984 film, which follows a washed-up glam metal act as they embark on a US promotional tour in support of ill-fated comeback record Smell The Glove, were acquired by Vivendi in 1989.
Shearer was initially suing the French firm for $125m, claiming that Vivendi has not properly shared profits since buying the rights to the film, but with the addition of the other ‘band members,’ it is hoped that the claim could amount to as much as $400m.