Say what you will about Slyvester Stallone and his supposedly aging brand of action, but he has more than earned the respect of his Hollywood peers and fans around the globe.
The Rambo actor has starred in several movies over the years and even produced as well as directed a handful of them. It should go without saying that he's got a fair bit of influence in the industry. But, after confirming his non-appearance in next year's Creed 3 - the third installment in the Michael B. Jordan-led spinoff was delayed to March 3, 2023 - Stallone had a few choice words to describe the producers behind the second Rocky spin-off, Drago.
Here's what Stallone had to say in a since-deleted Instagram post:
Another heartbreaker… Just found this out… ONCE AGAIN, IRWIN WINKLER, this PATHETIC 94 year old 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. I APOLOGIZE to the FANS, I never wanted ROCKY characters to be exploited by these parasites… 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.
Stallone is the writer of all six Rocky movies and was the director of four. He's also on board as a producer on all three of the Creed movies but he isn't starring in Creed 3, a first for the franchise. Given his involvement in what is literally his life's work, you'd think that Stallone is part of Drago as well. But, this isn't the case, as we now know.
For what it's worth, Stallone's good friend, Dolph Lundgren, who plays Ivan Drago, tried to clear the air. Lundgren claims that he was "personally under the impression" that Stallone knew about Drago and was on board either "as a producer or even as an actor." Lundgren also reassured fans that he is "in touch with [Mr.] Balboa."
Stallone has butted heads with long-time Rocky producer, Irwin Winkler, many times in the past. Much of their quarrel stems from intellectual property rights to Rocky. Stallone is the creator of the now-iconic cinematic universe, but Winkler owns the rights to Rocky. Because of this, Stallone has openly lobbied to have ownership of the Rocky IP.
We're curious to find out what will come of this. Regardless of what happens, we're hoping that this kerfuffle doesn't affect the premiere and production of Creed III and Drago.
In the meantime, Stallone's fans can watch him try and relive his glory days as Barney Ross in a new Expendables installment that's scheduled to hit theaters later this year. Stallone is also starring as an aging superhero in Samaritan, which will be available exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on August 26.