Hollywood superstar Sylvester Stallone has slammed the newly announced film Drago, spin-off to Rocky franchise, calling out the “parasite” producers for creating the film without keeping him in the loop.
The actor shared his disappointment in a post on Instagram Saturday. Although Stallone does not call anybody out by name in the post, the star mentions a “94-year-old producer,” a description which would seem to be pointed at “Rocky” series producer Irwin Winkler, as Variety notes.
“Another Heartbreaker… Just found this out…ONCE AGAIN , IRWIN WINKLER , this PATHETIC 94 year old PRODUCER and HIS MORONIC VULTURE CHILDREN, Charles And David , are once again picking clean THE BONES of another wonderful character I created without even telling me … I APOLOGIZE to the FANS , I never wanted ROCKY characters to be exploited by these parasites.”
The actor also acknowledged his relationship with Dolph Lundgren, who portrays Soviet champion boxer Ivan Drago in Rocky IV and Creed II. However, it is unclear if Lundgren is set to reprise his role in the Drago spinoff. “By the way, 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.”
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Winkler, who is actually 91 years old, has been a target of criticism for Stallone before. He made comments against him earlier this month, sharing a portrait of the producer drawn as a serpent. The actor shared that he had allegedly been deprived of an equity stake in the Rocky franchise. “After Irwin controlling ‘Rocky’ for over 47 years, and now ‘Creed’, I really would like to have at least a little [of] WHAT’S LEFT of my rights back, before passing it on to ONLY YOUR CHILDREN,” Stallone wrote at the time.
Earlier, while speaking to Variety about not having ownership of the franchise, Stallone stated, “I mentioned it a few times because after “Rocky II” came out and made a ton of money and then “Rocky III” hit and made more than all of them, I said I’d like to have some ownership since I invented it. And that never happened. I have zero ownership of Rocky. Every word, every syllable, every grammatical error was all my fault. 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. You don’t want to ruffle the feathers of the golden goose.”
Creed series, fronted by Michael B Jordan, is itself a spin-off to Stallone’s iconic Rocky franchise. The studio is gearing up for the release of Creed III, which marks Jordan’s directorial debut. The film is slated to be released on November 23.