Gimme Some Money: Spinal Tap sues for $400m

Gimme Some Money: Spinal Tap sues for 0m

This Is Spinal Tap stars are suing a French film studio for hundreds of millions of dollars, claiming the company did not share profits from the mockumentary.

Rob Reiner, Christopher Guest and Michael McKean have joined comedian Harry Shearer in a lawsuit against Vivendi and its subsidiary StudioCanal.

The four say the studio withheld profits from the film, its music and its merchandise, and are collectively seeking $400m (£320m) in compensation and punitive damages.

A spokesman for Vivendi has said the company did not comment on ongoing litigations.

The 1984 spoof documentary about a mock British rock band was directed and narrated by Reiner. Guest played Spinal Tap’s lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel, McKean played lead singer David St Hubbins, and Shearer was bassist Derek Smalls.

The lawsuit accuses Vivendi of engaging in anti-competitive, unfair business practices and fraudulent accounting directly related to its management of This Is Spinal Tap.


Spinal Tap: (L-R) Michael McKean as David St Hubbins, Harry Shearer as Derek Smalls and Christopher Guest as Nigel Tufnel
Image Caption:
Spinal Tap in 2009: (L-R) Michael McKean as David St Hubbins, Harry Shearer as Derek Smalls and Christopher Guest as Nigel Tufnel

The suit was filed in California. Shearer had been the first one to launch a lawsuit against Vivendi, asking an original $125m (£100m).

This Is Spinal Tap had modest success initially but has become a cult classic, with popular lines such as “these go to 11” and songs like Sex Farm and Gimme Some Money.

In 2002, it was added to the US Library of Congress.

According to the lawsuit, the creators have been told that global music sales from the soundtrack album total just $98 (£78) and they are only entitled to share $81 (£65) between them from global merchandising sales.

Reiner, who went on to direct hits including The Princess Bride and When Harry Met Sally, said: “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. I am hoping this lawsuit goes to 11.”

Source: Sky News – Entertainment

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