Sylvester Stallone has denounced “Rocky” producer Irwin Winkler and urged him to return the rights to the film franchise.
The actor wrote and starred in the hit 1976 boxing film and its sequels, but he says the rights to the film have been controlled by Irwin for 46 years and he wants them returned to him so he can can pass them on to his son and three daughters.
He pleaded in a candid Instagram post that he shared with a portrait of Winkler depicting him as a snake with a knife for his tongue. Stallone wrote, “A VERY flattering portrayal of great Rocky/Creed producer Irwin Winkler as one of the greatest artists in the land (sic).”
He then added: “After IRWIN controlled ROCKY for over 47 years, and now CREED, I would really like to have at least a little WHAT’S REMAINING of my RIGHTS, before passing it ONLY to YOUR CHILDREN – I think it would be a RIGHT Gesture from this 93-year-old gentleman?…”
Stallone went on to admit that the film rights dispute is “painful”, but he wants to leave something for his children.
He wrote, “This is a sore subject that eats at my soul, because I wanted to leave something Rocky for my kids, but it’s always great to hear from the loyal fans…Keep Punching.”
The post came after an earlier post that slammed a book called “The Arrangement: A Love Story” by Winkler’s son David.
Stallone called the novel “an insufferable worthless dreck” and added fuel to his feud with the senior Winkler, saying there would have been “at least three” more “Rocky” movies without him.
He wrote: “If it hadn’t been for Winkler there would have been at least three more ‘Rocky’s’ it would have been wonderful… frankly this team is the worst human being (sic) I’ve ever had never met in the movie I will always love loyal fans and keep banging.!!!Remember it feels good to empty your heart.
The actor previously said he missed out on a stake in the film franchise, admitting his inexperience early in his career caused him to make a big mistake.
Speaking to Variety in 2019, he explained, “I don’t own any Rocky property. Every word, every syllable, every grammatical error was completely my fault. It was shocking that it never happened, but I was told: “Hey, you paid, so what are you complaining about? “I was furious.”
‘Rocky’ was a massive hit after its 1976 release – scoring big at the box office and winning three Oscars, including the coveted Best Picture gong.
Stallone was nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal of boxer Rocky Balboa and Best Screenplay for his writing.
He went on to star in four ‘Rocky’ sequels as well as 2006’s ‘Rocky Balboa’ and he landed another Oscar nomination for his role in the 2015 spinoff film ‘Creed’ in which he again revived his character. of boxer.