Things have been a little heated recently since word of a Rocky spin-off based on Dolph Lundgren’s Ivan Drago and his son were seemingly leaked. Rocky creator Sylvester Stallone shared a lengthy post on the subject, commenting that he was sad to see producer Irwin Winkler “picking clean the bones” of his characters, and that he never wanted the franchise to be “exploited.” Now Lundgren has responded to the reports, setting out his side of the story to make it clear exactly what has and has not gone down regarding the possible new movie.
Lundgren made his comments on his own Instagram account, sharing an image of him and Stallone sharing a moment and put beyond doubt any bad feeling between the two actors in all the stories and rumors. Lundgren wrote:
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“Just to set the record straight regarding a possible Drago spinoff. There’s no approved script, no deals in place, no director and I was personally under the impression that my friend Sly Stallone was involved as a producer or even as an actor. There was a press leak last week which was unfortunate. In touch with Mr Balboa – just so all the fans can relax…There ya go.”
Lundgren’s comments seem to line up with those of Stallone, who in his originally post blasting Winkler signed off by saying, “By the way, I have nothing but respect for my true friend, Dolph Lundgren.” It seems that while there are certainly plans being made to further spin out the Rocky franchise beyond the upcoming Creed III, both action heroes are still very much friends and clearly are not letting this get in the way of their longstanding respect for each other.
Sylvester Stallone Recently Demanded Back The Rights To His Franchise
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After writing, directing and starring in the original Rocky movie, it is not unfair for Stallone to want some control over the legacy of the franchise. Having been involved in all the previous entries in the series, including the first two Creed movies, he chose not to appear as Rocky Balboa in Creed III, and it is clear from his recent online interactions that not having the rights to the franchise is something that is certainly bothering the star. In a now-deleted Instagram post, Stallone wrote:
“After IRWIN controlling ROCKY for over 47 years, and now CREED, I really would like have at least a little WHAT’s LEFT of my RIGHTS back, before passing it on to ONLY YOUR CHILDREN – I believe That would be a FAIR gesture from this 93 year old gentleman ? … This is a painful subject That eats at my soul , because I wanted to leave something of Rocky for my children, but it’s always great hearing from the loyal fans… Keep Punching.”
Stallone has recalled in the past how being young and naïve led to him not negotiating for the rights to Rocky back in 1976, and while the 76 year old has attempted to gain some control over the franchise, he seems to have met a brick wall in any negotiations with Irwin Winkler. Clearly all of this doesn’t sit well with Stallone and with Lundgren having now set out his stall, it could be tricky getting a Drago film off the ground if neither actor wants a part in it.