‘Spinal Tap’ Co-Creators Settle Royalties Lawsuit After 4-Year Court Battle
A royalties lawsuit involving This is Spinal Tap co-creators Harry Shearer, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Rob Reiner has finally reached a settlement after a four-year battle in court.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, this latest development “…could potentially revive the franchise.” The judge attached to the lawsuit updated the dispute’s status saying, “…the parties say they reached agreement on Thursday [September 17] and will be preparing a long-form settlement agreement that will include ‘restructuring the parties’ relationship and modifying contracts pertaining to the picture’s distribution.'”
Shearer originally filed suit against media distribution companies Vivendi and StudioCanal in October 2016 for $400 million stemming from owed royalties pertaining to the mockumentary, itself, and various licensing of its original music created for the film. McKean, Guest and Reiner joined the lawsuit in February 2017.
The Hollywood Reporter adds in Shearer’s original filing, he claimed he, McKean, Guest and Reiner “…had just $81 in merchandising income and $98 in musical sales income to show for their work on the 1984 rockumentary. They alleged ‘Hollywood accounting’ sins, Vivendi bungling trademark rights, and more. The four demanded hundreds of millions in damages plus hoped to reclaim ‘Spinal Tap’ by exercising termination rights under the Copyright Act.”