In response to the recent surprise announcement of an Ivan Drago spin-off film, Sylvester Stallone has once again issued a public call-out of current Rocky franchise rights holder Irwin Winkler, accusing the producer of intending to “suck Rocky dry” and apologizing to fans for how his characters are being “exploited by these parasites.”
Revealed as in production by The Wrap just nine days after Stallone made his most recent plea to Winkler for “at least a little” of what’s left of his rights to Rocky, little is presently known about MGM’s planned solo debut for The Siberian Express.
In fact, as of writing, the only confirmed detail about the film is that it will be penned by screenwriter Robert Lawton, who reportedly came to MGM’s attention for developing a spec script regarding a potential documentary examination of the Rocky franchise’s history.
Unsurprisingly, this announcement did not sit well with Stallone, who took to his personal Instagram after learning of the film’s announcement to level yet another scathing criticism against both Winkler’s character and his business practices.
“Another Heartbreaker,” opened the Hollywood icon’s now-deleted post, written alongside screenshots of various news articles related to Drago’s announcement.
“Just found this out…ONCE AGAIN, IRWIN WINKLER, THIS PATHETIC 94 year old [Ed. Note: Winkler is actually 91-years-old] 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 said.
Stallone continued, “I APOLOGIZE to the FANS, I never wanted ROCKY characters to be exploited by these parasites.”
Drawing his post to a close and under the understandable assumption that his longtime collaborator would be attached to the film in some way, shape, or form, the actor turned to express his disappointment with Ivan Drago actor Dolph Lundgren, exclaiming, “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,” he ultimately advised.
In a subsequent and now-deleted post, Stallone would present four images – including one depicting Winkler as a vampire feeding on Rocky Balboa’s blood and another depicting the producer and his sons in the midst of stabbing Stallone in the back, Drago script in-hand – and again rail against what he believed to be the producer and his family’s efforts to “SUCK ROCKY DRY!”
“Presumed to be the most hated, untalented, decrepited [sic], producer in Hollywood and his cowardly children have found their next meal,” he wrote. “Drago, Bon appétit.”
“Throughout history so many artists in every industry, recording, painting, writing, show, you name it, have been destroyed by these blood suckers who have destroyed so many lives,” Stallone added. “Lining their pockets with other people’s creativity. Let’s get ready to rumble.”
The actor’s post concluded with the improperly-crafted hashtags “#why Dolph?”, “#parasite producers,” and “#victims of exploited artists”.
Though Winkler and MGM have yet to publicly respond to their recent tongue-lashings, Lundgren has since clarified to Stallone that he was just as caught off-guard by Drago’s announcement as he was.
Seeking “to set the record straight regarding a possible Drago spinoff,” the actor shared a photo of him and Stallone playfully mimicking a boxing match during the Creed II press tour and explained, “There’s no approved script, no deals in place, no director and I was personally under the impression that my friend Sly Stallone was involved as a producer or even as an actor.”
“There was a press leak last week which was unfortunate,” he further clarified. “In touch with Mr Balboa – just so all the fans can relax…There ya go.”