Sylvester Stallone Doubles Down On ‘Rocky’ Ownership Complaints Regarding ‘Drago’ Spinoff
Ivan Drago, a former rival of Rocky Balboa, is the subject of a new movie being developed by MGM, which has rekindled Stallone’s displeasure with the boxing franchise.
Now that MGM is creating an Ivan Drago-focused movie spinoff, Sylvester Stallone has more to say about the Rocky film series.
Stallone, who authored the Oscar-winning script for Rocky, in which he played boxer Rocky Balboa, took to Instagram on Saturday to express his disapproval of the upcoming movie Drago, which is being written by Robert Lawton, as was previously revealed this week by The Wrap. Stallone did not specifically name anyone in his most recent post, but when he spoke of a “94-year-old producer,” it was clearly a reference to Irwin Winkler, who is 91 and has produced all of the Rocky films as well as the later Creed spinoff movies.
One more Heartbreaker I just learned this… Once more, the pathological 94-year-old PRODUCER and HIS SELFISH USELESS CHILDREN are picking the flesh off the bones of yet another magnificent character! Regarding Drago, Stallone wrote. How do you weasels look in the mirror, seriously?
“I am sorry to the fans, I apologize to the fans, and I never wanted ROCKY to be exploited FOR THIS GREED. #sad # no shame day #Parasite,” the star continued.
Ivan Drago, who was represented by Dolph Lundgren in the films Rocky IV in 1985 and Creed II in 2018, will be revisited in Drago. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in November 2021, Lundgren had already hinted at a possible spinoff movie.
The statement from Stallone followed one from July 16 in which he specifically targeted Winkler, calling him “the amazingly untalented and parasitical Producer of Rocky and Creed.” David Winkler, the son of Irwin and named as a producer on the Creed movies, including the 2015 debut movie with Michael B. Jordan and Sly Stallone repeating his role as Balboa, was also lambasted in the article.
In a subsequent post on July 17, Stallone expressed his displeasure about a dispute over the franchise’s ownership. In a letter to Irwin, Stallone said, “I genuinely would like [to] 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.”
These two preceding posts have been taken down.
The first five Rocky movies are solely credited to Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff. David Winkler and Charles Winkler, the other son of Irwin, are two of the six producers listed on Rocky Balboa, a 2006 movie that revived the franchise.
In the Creed movies, Michael B. Jordan plays the son of the late Apollo Creed, who was portrayed by Carl Weathers in the Rocky movies. Producer credits for the Creed films include Stallone, Irwin Winkler, David, and Charles, among others. Prior to his passing in 2015, Chartoff worked as a producer on the first Creed.
The story’s new direction caused Stallone to “bow out” of Creed III, but he still backed the movie, he told Metro last month. Jordan is both the director and the actor of Creed III, which hits theatres on March 3, 2023.
I’d like to congratulate Irwin Winkler and family beating another wonderful character into the ground! # no shame https://t.co/dy2TEkqCni
— Sylvester Stallone (@TheSlyStallone) July 30, 2022
In 1976, Stallone’s Rocky script introduced the Rocky Balboa character, and as part of his contract, he was required to play the title role. Stallone claimed to have “zero ownership of Rocky” and expressed his “fury” over this to Variety in 2019.
Winkler remembered working on the first Rocky with Chartoff in 1983 to The Hollywood Reporter that “our commitment to him was that he could star in it.” “We persuaded United Artists to provide us with the funding to produce it. They claimed we had to use our homes as collateral and would only lend us a certain amount of money. We put our lives on the line to deliver it on time, and we succeeded.
Requests for a response from Irwin Winkler and Stallone’s representatives were not immediately entertained.