Sylvester Stallone has intensified his criticisms of the “Rocky” franchise’s direction, expressing his displeasure with the recently announced spinoff film “Drago.” Saturday, the actor expressed his disappointment in an Instagram post. Although Stallone does not mention anyone by name in his writing, he does make reference to a “94-year-old producer,” a description that appears to be directed at “Rocky” series producer Irwin Winkler. Winkler, who is actually 91 years old, has previously been the target of Stallone’s criticism.
Yet another heartbreaker… Just learned this… Stallone wrote, “YET AGAIN, this PATHETIC 94-year-old PRODUCER and HIS MORONIC USELESS VULTURE CHILDREN, Charles and David, are picking clean THE BONES of another wonderful character I created without my knowledge. “I apologize to the FANS; I never intended for these parasites to exploit ROCKY characters.” Stallone acknowledged his friendship with actor Dolph Lundgren, who portrays Soviet boxing champion Ivan Drago in “Rocky IV” and “Creed II.” It is unknown whether Dolph Lundgren will reprise his role in the “Drago” spinoff.
Stallone concluded, “By the way, I have nothing but respect for Dolph, but I wish HE had told me what was going on behind my back.” Keep your TRUE friends close by. Earlier this month, Stallone made comments against Winkler and shared a serpent-like image of the producer. The actor expressed his displeasure at allegedly being deprived of an equity stake in the “Rocky” franchise. Stallone wrote at the time, “After Irwin controlling ‘Rocky’ for over 47 years, and now ‘Creed,’ I would like to have at least a portion of WHAT’S LEFT of my rights back before passing it on to ONLY YOUR CHILDREN.” Variety reported in 2019 that Winkler was shocked to learn that Stallone was unhappy with his franchise stake, citing the tens of millions of dollars he received in profit participation and upfront fees.
“I have zero ownership of ‘Rocky,'” Stallone told Variety in 2019, adding that he desired a sort of annuity that could be left to his children upon his death. “It was shocking that it never materialized, but I was told, ‘Hey, you were paid, so why are you complaining?’ I was enraged.” Stallone conceived, wrote, and starred in the 1976 original “Rocky,” for which he received Oscar nominations for best actor and best original screenplay. At the 49th Academy Awards, “Rocky” won statuettes for best picture, director, and film editing. “Rocky IV,” in which Dolph Lundgren debuted as Ivan Drago, was written and directed by Stallone.