Sylvester Stallone accuses producer Irwin Winkler of 'sucking Rocky dry' with new spin-off

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Sylvester Stallone has called out Rocky producer Irwin Winkler for "exploiting" the characters he created with a new spin-off.

The action man launched the boxing franchise with 1976's Rocky, which he conceived, wrote and starred in, and it has since spawned five sequels and the Creed spin-off series. However, he sold the rights to his Rocky screenplay to producers Winkler and the late Robert Chartoff, so he has no ownership stake in the lucrative series he created.

Stallone, who slammed Winkler on Instagram last month over the film rights, blasted the 91-year-old producer once again over the weekend after learning about a Rocky spin-off movie centred around the antagonist Ivan Drago.

"Another Heartbreaker… Just found this out…ONCE AGAIN , IRWIN WINKLER , this PATHETIC 94 year old (sic) 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," he wrote. "I APOLOGIZE to the FANS , I never wanted ROCKY characters to be exploited by these parasites."

Stallone shared screengrabs of articles announcing the Drago spin-off, as well as a 2021 article in which Dolph Lundgren - who was introduced as the character in 1985's Rocky IV - hinted at the project.

"By the way, I once had nothing but respect for Dolph but he NEVER told me about what was going on behind my back with the character I created for him !!! REAL FRIENDS Are more precious than gold," added Stallone, who wrote and directed Rocky IV.

The Rambo actor returned to Instagram on Sunday night to share illustrations which depict Winkler as a vampire and another of him stabbing Stallone in the back.

"After IRWIN WINKLER And FAMILY SUCK ROCKY DRY !" he wrote in the caption. "Presumed to be the most hated , untalented , decrepited , Producer in Hollywood and his cowardly children have found their next meal… Drago (sic)?"

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