In a pair of scathing Instagram posts, Sylvester Stallone has slammed a producer on the Rocky movies over money and rights issues.
Rocky Balboa debuted onscreen in 1976, and since then the beloved character has appeared in five Rocky movies, as well as a pair of Creeds.
Those films have made hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide, helping to generate a fortune for Sylvester Stallone – who both created and starred as Balboa – and Irwin Winkler, who produced all the movies.
But over the weekend, Stallone had some harsh words for his longtime collaborator about ownership of the character.
What did Sylvester Stallone say about the Rocky rights?
It all started on Saturday, when Stallone criticized a book written by Irwin Winkle’s son David – who also produced the Creed movies – on Instagram.
Stallone called the memoir – entitled The Arrangement: A Love Story – “by far the worst book” he had read. He then referred to Irwin as “the remarkably untalented and parasitical Producer of Rocky and Creed.”
The tirade continued with Stallone – in a mixture of lower-case and capitals – stating: “If it wasn’t for Winkler there would’ve been at least another three Rockys, that would’ve been wonderful. Frankly that crew are the worst unhunman beings I’ve ever met in the movie industry. I will forever love the loyal fans and keep punching!!! REMEMBER IT FEELS GOOD TO CLEAR YOUR HEART.”
Why Stallone wants Rocky back
Stallone kept punching on Sunday too, explaining his reasons for attacking Winkler while making his demands.
In a follow-up post on Instagram, he 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?
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“This is a painful subject That eats at my soul, because I wanted to leave something of Rocky for my children.”
Stallone explained the rights issue to Variety in 2019, stating: “I have zero ownership of Rocky… it was shocking that it never came to be, but I was told, ‘Hey, you got paid, so what are you complaining about?’ I was furious.”
What is currently happening with Rocky and Creed?
The last standalone Rocky movie was Rocky Balboa in 2006, but more recently, Stallone expressed interest in developing a TV series around the character.
In March 2021 – beside a hand-written note on Instagram – Stallone explained: “I started out this morning by writing a treatment for a Rocky prequel For streaming. Ideally 10 episodes for a few seasons to really get to the heart of the Characters in their younger years – Here is a small portion of how my creative writing Process starts… Hope it happens.”
There’s been no news about the prequel series since, but star Michael B. Jordan has just directed Creed III.
We recently reported that Tony Bellew would again be playing Ricky Conlan in the boxing sequel, though Stallone himself won’t appear as Rocky, telling Metro he bowed out because the script took the story in a “different direction.”
Creed III hits screens this November.