Sylvester Stallone attacks ‘parasitical’ Rocky producer over rights to franchise

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The Guardian

Sylvester Stallone has launched a verbal attack on veteran producer Irwin Winkler over the Rocky movies, describing Winkler as “untalented and parasitical” for not assigning him any portion of the rights to the boxing-movie series for which Stallone created the original characters and wrote and directed numerous entries.

Stallone posted an offensive caricature of Winkler on social media, writing: “I really would like have at least a little WHAT’s LEFT of my RIGHTS back – I believe That would be a FAIR gesture from this 93 year old gentleman.”

Observing that Winkler’s rights would presumably pass to his children, who include Rocky Balboa producers Charles and David Winkler, Stallone added: “This is a painful subject That eats at my soul, because I wanted to leave something of Rocky for my children.”

Stallone also posted the cover of a novel by David Winkler (producer on all three Creed movies as well as Rocky Balboa), calling him “the painfully untalented … son of the remarkably untalented and parasitical [Irwin Winkler]”, and that “that crew are the worst unhunman [sic] beings I’ve ever met in the movie industry”. He also suggested that “if it wasn’t for Winkler, there would’ve been at least another three Rockys.”

The Rocky series currently consists of six movies. The initial five, all written by Stallone, and three of which were directed by him, were released between 1976 and 1990; Stallone also wrote and directed Rocky Balboa, which came out in 2006. Stallone was a producer on the Creed spin-off movies: he was nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar for the 2015 release Creed, and is a credited writer on Creed II, which came out in 2018. A third Creed film is due to arrive in November 2022.

In an interview in Variety in 2019, Stallone had complained about not having an equity stake in the franchise, saying: “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.”

Winkler’s representatives have been contacted for a response.

July 18, 2022 at 08:15PM Andrew Pulver

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