Hollywood actor Sylvester Stallone has criticized the creator of “Rocky” spinoff “Drago” after producers announced Friday that a spinoff is in development that will focus on Ivan Drago, a character from “Rocky IV”. This development seems to have upset Stallone, who is the original creator of the character ‘Rocky’ and also starred in it. The veteran star has expressed his disapproval of the makers’ decision and called the announcement “another heartbreaker”.
The action star took to Instagram and shared a post, which he captioned, “Another heartbreaker… Just found out… Once again, Irwin Winkler, this 94-year-old producer and his silly Vulture kids , Charles and David, are once again clearing the bones of another wonderful character I have created… I apologize to the fans, I never wanted Rocky characters to be exploited by these parasites. ..”
His post continued, “Well, I once had nothing but respect for Dolph but he never told me what was going on behind my back with the character I made for him!!! REAL Friends are more valuable than gold.”
Stallone’s remarks against franchise producer Irwin Winkler, as Variety reported, come a week after he alleged that he was denied an equity stake in the “Rocky” franchise for nearly five decades. Stallone commented on Winkler by sharing a portrait of the creator drawn as a serpent.
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MGM Studios announced Drago earlier this week. The film will center around Dolph the Russian boxer of the same name, whom he portrayed in 1985’s ‘Rocky IV’ with his son Victor Drago. Played by Florian Munteanu, who debuted in ‘Creed II’. Michael B. The Jordan starrer ‘Creed’ series is itself a spinoff of Stallone’s ‘Rocky’ franchise.
In recent years, Stallone has begun to express his dismay about the lack of ownership over popular film franchises such as “Rocky” that he helped generate. In 2019 Winkler said he was surprised to learn that Stallone was dissatisfied with his stake in the franchise, pointing to profit sharing and tens of millions of dollars received in upfront fees, Variety reported.
Sylvester Stallone starred in the original “Rocky” (1976), conceived and written by Starr. He received Oscar nominations for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay. The film also won home statues for Best Picture, Director and Film Editing at the 49th Academy Awards, while Rocky IV, which originated with Lundgren’s Ivan Drago, was written and directed by Stallone.
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