Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren. Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock; John Salangsang / Shutterstock
The struggle for control. Sylvester Stallone criticized the upcoming Rocky spin-off dedicated to Dolph Lundgren’s character, Drago, saying that it was made without his knowledge and approval.
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“ONCE AGAIN, IRWIN WINKLER, that PATHETIC 94-YEAR-OLD PRODUCER and HIS VULTURE CHILDREN, Charles and David, are once again stripping the BONES of another wonderful character I created without even telling me about it…” the Golden Globe winner, 76, wrote in an already deleted Instagram post in Saturday, July 30th. “I APOLOGIZE TO THE FANS, I never wanted these parasites to use ROCKY characters.”
Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren in the movie “Rocky 4”. Mgm/Ua/Kobal/Shutterstock
Stallone also called out his former colleague and friend Lundgren, 64, for agreeing to take part in the project, despite allegedly knowing that he was against it. “By the way, once I 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!!!” the Rambo star continued. “TRUE FRIENDS are more expensive than gold.”
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In the second post, which was also deleted, Stallone called the producer “the most hated, incompetent, decrepit [so in the original]” person in Hollywood, claiming that they want to “suck Rocky dry” for their own benefit. “RETURN MY RIGHTS TO THE BLOODSUCKERS!” he wrote. “Throughout history, so many artists in every industry, recording, painting, writing, you name it, have been destroyed by these bloodsuckers who have destroyed so many families by stuffing their pockets with other people’s [money]!”
Neither Winkler nor Lundgren have publicly commented on Stallone’s posts. Us Weekly contacted the couple’s representatives, but they did not immediately respond.
On Thursday, July 28, The Wrap reported that a spin-off “Rocky”, dedicated to the Russian fighter Ivan Drago, is in development. Although details about the plot of the film have not yet been disclosed, the publication reported that the main role in the story will be played by the son of the Russian fighter Viktor Drago, whom Florian Munteanu played in Creed II 2018.
The news comes in the midst of Stallone’s ongoing public battle for the rights to the Rocky franchise. The “Expendables” star told Variety in a 2019 interview that he has “zero ownership” of the characters, despite the fact that he wrote the scripts and starred in all six films and directed all but the first part. “Every word, every syllable, every grammatical mistake —it was all my mistake,” he said at the time. “I was shocked that it never happened, but they said to me, “Hey, you got paid, so what are you complaining about?” I was furious.”
Stallone continued: “I was very angry. … “Rocky” is shown around the world more than any other Oscar-winning film, except “The Godfather”. You have six of them, and now you have Creed and Creed II.”
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Earlier this month, the New York native expressed disappointment at not being able to leave the legacy of the franchise to his daughters, Sofia, 25, Sistine, 24, and Scarlet, 20, whom he shares with wife Jennifer Flavin.
“After IRWIN controlled ROCKY for over 47 years, and now CREED, I really would like to get at least a little BIT OF WHAT’s LEFT of my RIGHTS before handing them OVER TO YOUR CHILDREN ALONE— I think that would be a FAIR gesture from this 93-year-old gentleman? Stallone wrote in a deleted Instagram post. “[It’s] a painful topic that eats away at my soul because I wanted to leave something of Rocky for my children.”