Sylvester Stallone Slams Rocky Producer Over Film Ownership

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Sylvester Stallone has attacked Rocky producer Irwin Winkler, urging him to return the rights to the film series.

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The actor wrote and starred in the hit 1976 boxing film and its sequels, but he claims the film rights have been controlled by Irwin for 46 years and he wants them passed to him so he can pass them on to his son and three daughters.

He made the plea in a candid post on Instagram, which he shared alongside a portrait of Winkler depicting him as a snake with a knife for a tongue. Stallone wrote: “A VERY flattering portrayal of The Great Rocky/Creed producer Irwin Winkler by one of the greatest artists in the country (sic).”

He then added: “Having controlled ROCKY and now CREED for over 47 years, IRWIN would really like to have at least WHAT’S left of my RIGHTS before I give it to ONLY YOUR CHILDREN – I think that would be a FAIR gesture this 93rd -year-old gentleman? …”

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Stallone went on to admit that the film rights battle is “painful” but he wants to leave something behind for his children.

He wrote, “It’s a painful subject that gnaws at my soul because I wanted to leave something of Rocky to my kids, but it’s always great to hear from the loyal fans…Keep punching.”

The post came after an earlier message slammed a book called The Arrangement: A Love Story by Winkler’s son David.

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Calling the novel “intolerable, worthless crap,” Stallone further fueled his feud with the senior Winkler by claiming there would have been “at least three” other “Rocky” movies if it weren’t for him.

He wrote, “If it wasn’t for Winkler there would have been at least three other ‘Rockys’, that would have been wonderful… honestly, these crew are the worst inhuman (sic) beings I’ve ever met in the film industry. I will forever love and keep beating the loyal fans. !!! Remember that it feels good to cleanse your heart.”

The actor has previously spoken openly about missing out on a part in the film series, admitting that his inexperience in the early days of his career meant he made a big mistake.

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Speaking to Variety in 2019, he explained, “I have no ownership of Rocky. Every word, every syllable, every grammatical error was all my fault. It was shocking that it never happened, but I was told, ‘Hey, you got paid, so what are you complaining about?’ I was angry.”

Rocky was a huge hit upon its release in 1976 – achieving huge success at the box office and winning three Academy Awards, including the coveted Gong for Best Picture.

Stallone was nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal of boxer Rocky Balboa and Best Screenplay for his screenplay.

He went on to star in four Rocky sequels, as well as 2006’s Rocky Balboa, and received another Oscar nomination for his role in the 2015 spin-off film Creed, in which he revived his boxer character.

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