Sylvester Stallone has slammed Rocky producer Irwin Winkler for “picking at the bones” of characters he created in the light of the recently announced Drago spinoff movie. Stallone is not involved in the production of Drago in any capacity and didn’t even know it was happening, or so he says. The Rocky star took to Instagram to voice his disapproval at the news, with some more unsavory remarks about Winkler and his family.
“Another Heartbreaker… Just found this out…ONCE AGAIN , this PATHETIC 94 year old PRODUCER and HIS MORONIC USELESS VULTURE CHILDREN, Charles And David , are once again picking clean THE BONES of another wonderful character I created without even telling me … I APOLOGIZE to the FANS , I never wanted ROCKY characters to be exploited by these parasites… By the way, I have nothing but respect for my true friend, Dolph Lundgren.”
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Drago was reported to be in development at MGM earlier this week with screenwriter Robert Lawton. The film will center on the Russian father-son boxing duo Ivan and Viktor Drago, who last appeared in 2018’s Creed II. Although MGM has yet to officially announce Drago, it has been confirmed by several prominent news outlets, and Dolph Lundgren also mentioned that the film was happening last October.
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While Stallone has nothing against longtime friend Dolph Lundgren, he is mad at the Winklers for going ahead with Drago just a week after he called them out over Rocky’s ownership rights. It’s almost like rubbing salt in the wounds.
Sylvester Stallone Is No Longer Involved In The Rocky Or Creed Movies
Stallone reignited his feud with Winkler last week, demanding the rights to the Rocky franchise. 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.”
While Stallone is not short on money, his claims are quite valid, and this is a matter of legacy for him. Rocky is one of Stallone’s most memorable movies and probably his biggest franchise. All the Rocky movies have earned $1.7 billion combined at the box office and are beloved worldwide, yet the creator, director, and face of the series, Sylvester Stallone, has zero stake in the franchise.
Stallone failed to negotiate for the rights while making 1976’s Rocky due to his naïveté, as he told Variety in 2019. But when he tried to do so a few years later, the producers retorted with, “Hey, you got paid, so what are you complaining about?” which is true as Stallone did make millions of Rocky and Creed movies. However, the lack of ownership continues to bug him, especially now that he’s been reduced to a producer role on Creed 3. Plus, Irwin Winkler rejected Stallone’s pitch for a Rocky prequel series, which didn’t sit well with the 76-year-old star.
Creed 3 is set to come out next year on March 3, with Michael B. Jordan stepping into the director’s chair, and it will be the first film in the series without Stallone. That could be a big risk, but MGM seems confident in the Creed series’ ability to stand on its own.