Sylvester Stallone blasts Rocky boss in 'painful' rant
SYLVESTER STALLONE has hit out in a new rant he has posted online about the intellectual property rights to his biggest film franchise, Rocky. He claimed he wants to leave something for his children, before noting it is a "painful" subject for him.The actor would not sell it to anyone without getting some of the film rights in return, as well as claiming the leading role. And his bet worked out - the film won three Oscars and earned more than $225 million at the box office on a meagre $960,000 budget.
The veteran action star is ready to go ten rounds with his former Rocky producer after posting blistering and insulting attacks on social media. The language and content of a series of tweets have left Hollywood reeling as the Rocky and Rambo hard man publicly attacks the 91-year-old veteran producer and his "useless" producer sons. Stallone's fury over the current state of his Rocky franchise and the characters he created has also left him "heartbroken" as he told fans: "I never wanted ROCKY to be exploited FOR THIS GREED."
It is all more extraordinary because Stallone and producer Irwin Winkler worked together from the first Rocky film in 1976, and on every subsequent one.
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Yet in a shocking new post Stallone said: "Another Heartbreaker... Just found this out...ONCE AGAIN, IRWIN WINKLER, this 94 year old PRODUCER and HIS SELFISH USELESS CHILDREN are once again picking what is left OFF THE BONES of another wonderful character !!! Seriously, how do you weasels look in mirror ???. I am sorry to the FANS, I APOLOGIZE to the FANS."
Winkler's sons David and Charles also worked on later films in the franchise.
The row has been sparked by the upcoming Rocky spin-off project based around Dolph Lundgren's Rocky IV character Ivan Drago. Written by Robert Lawton, it will be an origin story of the Russian anti-hero.
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Stallone has furiously ended his friendship with Lundgren, saying: "I once had nothing but respect for Dolph but he NEVER told me about what was going on behind my back with the character I created for him !!! REAL FRIENDS Are more precious than gold."
Stallone first posted about the clash over the perceived 'ownership" of the stories and characters he created earlier this month.
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On July 17, he posted (and later deleted): "I really 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."
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In that post, he named Winkler, calling him "the remarkably untalented and parasitical Producer of Rocky and Creed."
It's a staggeringly blunt and personal attack, especially considering the pair worked together for so long. Stallone was even there when Winkler was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2000.
Commentators have also pointed out that Lundgren had already started teasing the project last November, despite Stallone now saying "Just found this out."
Despite Stallone referring to him as a parasite, Winkler previously described how he mortgaged his house and put it up as collateral to the studio to get the first Rocky film made.
Former Fox News entertainment reporter Roger Friedman said: "I'm told that Stallone's producing partner, Braden Aftergood, sat in a Zoom pitch meeting in April with Lawton and signed off on the project, giving Stallone's approval. According to my sources, MGM would not proceed with a Rocky spin-off movie unless Stallone gave permission...
"What still doesn't make sense about this? Stallone could handle all this through the top lawyers and agents in Hollywood. Why has he chosen the route of a public fight? It's not reflecting well on him, right or wrong."
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SYLVESTER STALLONE was "traumatised" after he hired a wrestler to star in Rocky III. He admitted to being left "battered and bruised" during a fight scene that hospitalised people - just after the actor in question was fired from his real job.By the time Rocky III hit cinemas, he began working with even (physically) bigger actors to fight on the big screen. But this didn't go well for him with Hulk Hogan - who turned 69-years-old earlier this month on August 11, 2022.