Yo, Irwin! Sylvester Stallone wants rights to the “Rocky” movies and the character he created, and he’s calling out producer Irwin Winkler.
In a combative Instagram post on Sunday, the actor jabbed at the 93-year-old executive for his alleged stranglehold on “Rocky” and its sequels, plus the “Creed” movie spinoffs starring Michael B. Jordan. (Another film, produced by Stallone and directed by Jordan, is slated to hit theaters in the fall.)
While calling him a gentleman, Stallone posted a portrait of Winkler as a knife-tongued snake. The palooka-playing action hero expressed concern Winkler would bequeath the ownership rights for “Rocky” to his family, leaving nothing for Stallone’s.
“After IRWIN controlling ROCKY for over 47 years , and now CREED, , I really would like (to) 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 ?” Stallone wrote. “This is a painful subject That eats at my soul , because I wanted to leave something of Rocky for my children.”
According to Variety, Stallone was initially paid less than six figures for the screenplay and acting fee on the original 1976 “Rocky” but earned millions in percentage profits. “Rocky” and subsequent movies have grossed more than $1.5 billion worldwide.
Stallone told the show business outlet in 2019 that he has profited nicely from the franchise. “My kids and their kids, they’re taken care of because of the system,” he told Variety. “But there are dark little segues and people that have put it to ya. They say the definition of Hollywood is someone who stabs you in the chest. They don’t even hide it.”
But the screen legend says he has been deprived of an equity stake in the “Rocky” universe. “I have zero ownership of ‘Rocky,’” Stallone said.
In an earlier Instagram post insulting a new book by Winkler’s son David Winkler, he called Irwin Winkler “parasitical” and said the longtime executive and his family were among the worst human beings.
Winkler’s family did not immediately respond to a request for comment.