Sylvester Stallone Slams ‘Creed’ Spin-Off ‘Drago’

The unauthorized film is the latest battleground in Stallone’s decades-long feud with “Rocky” producer Irwin Winkler.

Sylvester Stallone

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Many fans were surprised this week to learn that MGM is developing a new “Creed” spin-off titled “Drago” about Dolph Lundgren’s Ivan Drago and his son, played by Florian Munteanu. This group includes Sylvester Stallone, who is not involved in the film and claims he had no knowledge of it.

Stallone took to Instagram on Saturday night to express his surprise and disgust at the film, which he says was put together behind his back by his longtime nemesis Irwin Winkler and his sons. He reserved some praise for Lundgren, but also feels personally betrayed that his former co-star didn’t tell him about the project.

“Another heartbreaker…” Stallone wrote. “Just found out… ONCE AGAIN this 94 year old PATHETIC PRODUCER and HIS CHILDREN OF USELESS VAULT MORONS, Charles and David, are once again selecting the bones of another wonderful character that I created without even tell me… I APOLOGIZE to the FANS, I never wanted the ROCKY characters to be taken advantage of by these pests… By the way, I have nothing but respect for Dolph but I wish HE had me said what was happening behind my back… Keep your REAL friends close.

This is far from the first time Stallone has aired his grievances about Irwin Winkler. The actor has long held a grudge that he doesn’t own any rights to the “Rocky” characters despite creating the entire franchise. Stallone’s contract for the first “Rocky” film paid him a fixed fee for writing and starring in the film, as well as a percentage of the box office gross, but no ownership over the intellectual property. This led to a strained working relationship with the Winkler family over the years, as Stallone was forced to continue working with them if he wanted to continue portraying the iconic character despite frequent creative and business disagreements.

In 2019, Stallone recalled his failed attempts to ask the Winklers for equity in the franchise: “When I finally confronted them, I said, ‘Do you mind that I write every word, I choreographed, I’ve been faithful to you, promoted it, achieved it and I don’t have 1% that I could leave for my children? And the quote was, ‘You have been paid.’ And that was the end of the conversation.

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