‘Spinal Tap’ Creators Settle Royalties Fight With Vivendi
The creators of “This is Spinal Tap” and Vivendi SA’s Studiocanal have reached an agreement in their long-running dispute over allegedly unpaid profits from the 1984 cult classic.
Lawyers for the creators of the mockumentary about a fictional British rock band and Vivendi said in a filing Friday in federal court in Los Angeles that they have agreed on the terms of the settlement. The terms weren’t disclosed.
Two years ago, Studiocanal failed to persuade a judge to dismiss the fraud claim by actor/comedian Harry Shearer and the other co-stars and the director of the movie, who sought $400 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
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Without ruling on the merits of their claim, the judge agreed at the time that the creators made plausible allegations about “nefarious accounting practices,” including bundling the movie with unsuccessful films and movie rights in the Embassy Pictures catalog, and manufacturing false expense deductions.
The settlement discussions were hampered by the Covid-19 outbreak and by the studio’s insurance carrier, which refused to pay for a settlement. According to Friday’s filing, the sides will hammer out the details of the settlement, which they said involves “somewhat complicated issues,” before they can ask for the case to be dismissed.
The case is Century of Progress Productions v. Vivendi SA, 16-cv-07733, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).
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