Sylvester Stallone begs Rocky producer to give his rights back

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Sylvester Stallone has asked a Rocky producer to hand over the film rights. credit:Bang Showbiz
Sylvester Stallone has asked a Rocky producer to hand over the film rights. credit:Bang Showbiz

Sylvester Stallone has hit out at 'Rocky' producer Irwin Winkler and urged him to hand back the rights to the film franchise.

The actor wrote and starred in the hit 1976 boxing movie as well as its sequels, but he claims the film rights have been controlled by Irwin for 46 years and he wants them handed over 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 portrait of The Great Rocky/ Creed Producer , Irwin Winkler, from one of the country‘s greatest artist (sic)."

He then added: "After IRWIN controlling ROCKY for over 47 years , and now CREED, , I really would like 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 went on to admit the dispute over the film rights is "painful" but he wants to leave something for his kids.

He wrote: "This is a painful subject That eats at my soul , because I wanted to leave something of Rocky for my children, but it’s always great hearing from the loyal fans … Keep Punching."

The post came after a previous message which slammed a book called 'The Arrangement: A Love Story' by Winkler's son David.

Stallone called the novel "unbearable worthless dreck" and added further fuel to his feud with the senior Winkler, claiming there would have been "at least three" more 'Rocky' movies if it wasn't for him.

He wrote: "If it wasn’t for Winkler there would’ve been at least another three 'Rockys' , that would’ve been wonderful … frankly that crew are the worst unhunman (sic) beings I’ve ever met in the movie industry. I will forever love the loyal fans and keep punching.!!! Remember it feels good to clear your heart."

The actor previously opened up about missing out on an equity stake in the movie franchise, admitting his inexperience in the early days of his career led him to make a big mistake.

Speaking to Variety in 2019, he explained: "I have zero ownership of Rocky. Every word, every syllable, every grammatical error was all my fault. 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."

'Rocky' was a huge hit after its release in 1976 - 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 for 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 2015 spin-off movie 'Creed' in which he revived his boxer character once again.

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