Sylvester Stallone Hits Out At Hollywood ‘Bloodsuckers’ for ‘Drago’ Film

Sylvester Stallone has lashed out at producers behind Drago, the latest proposed spinoff from his hugely successful Rocky franchise.

In a post to Instagram, Stallone described plans to center a film around Rocky IV antagonist Ivan Drago as “another heartbreaker,” then set his sights squarely on producer Irwin Winkler. “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,” the actor continued. “I never wanted Rocky characters to be exploited by these parasites.”

Stallone also called out fellow star Dolph Lundgren, who played Drago in the 1985 classic, claiming the actor “never told me about what was going on behind my back with the character I created for him.”

Lundgren responded in an Instagram post of his own, claiming he was “under the impression that my friend Sly Stallone was involved as a producer or even as an actor” in any potential Drago film.

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A fortnight ago, Stallone took to Instagram to call for Winkler to give him “what’s left of [his] rights back.” He wrote then:

“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.”

This is the latest chapter in an ongoing battle between Stallone and Winkler. The actor — who wrote and starred in the first six Rocky films and later appeared in the Creed spin-offs — has long argued that his deal with Winkler on the Rocky films was unjust and gave him minimal rights to a franchise he created.

In a follow-up post, Stallone continued railing against Winkler, presenting photoshopped images of the producer sucking blood from Rocky’s neck and stabbing Rocky in the back. “Return my rights bloodsuckers!,” the star wrote in part.

The creation of Rocky, its success at the box office and its success at the 1976 Oscars has entered film folklore but the rights to the franchise have long been a point of contention for Stallone, who was paid approximately $75k (for the screenplay and his acting fees) plus 10 net points which earned him at least $2.5 million for the first film, according to his calculation.

He has previously said that he didn’t push the issue of ownership rights at the time because “there was a certain code of business conduct, maybe not as much now, but back then, that you don’t ruffle the feathers of the golden goose.”

He has broached the topic in the past but was told he was paid fairly.

The Rocky franchise expanded with 2015’s Creed and its sequel two years later. A third installment is set to be released on November 23, the first Rocky project that Stallone will not appear in. He will serve as a producer, however. Irwin also owns the rights to Creed as it’s an extension of the Rocky universe.

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Cliff Morton


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