Sylvester Stallone throws another punch at ‘parasite’ ‘Rocky’ producers over ‘Drago’

Sylvester Stallone punches Dolph Lundgren in the boxing ring in a scene from "Rocky IV."
Sylvester Stallone, left, and Dolph Lundgren in a scene from 1985’s “Rocky IV.”
(United Artists / Getty Images)

Don’t expect Sylvester Stallone to be in Drago’s corner.

The famed “Rocky” star and writer, who has been lashing out at the original film’s producers in recent weeks, has not given his blessing to “Drago,” a reported spinoff of the beloved boxing franchise.

For the record:

8:27 a.m. Aug. 2, 2022A previous version of this story misidentified screenwriter Robert Lawton as Richard Lawton.

This time, the project centers on Rocky rival Ivan Drago, the formidable Soviet-Russian fighter played by Swedish actor Dolph Lundgren, who took on the Italian Stallion in 1985’s “Rocky IV.”

“I’d like to congratulate Irwin Winkler and family beating another wonderful character into the ground! # no shame,” Stallone tweeted Saturday following reports about “Drago.”


He then elaborated on Instagram, taking aim at the Winkler family for “once again picking clean THE BONES of another wonderful character I created without even telling me,” Stallone wrote in a since-deleted post.

“I APOLOGIZE to the FANS, I never wanted ROCKY characters to be exploited by these parasites,” he said, according to Variety. “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.”

Then, on Sunday, Stallone delivered another one-two punch in his public pummeling of the Oscar-winning franchise’s co-producer Irwin Winkler. In another deleted Instagram post, the “Rambo” star shared a graphic series of photos depicting Winkler as a vampire who “SUCK[s] ROCKY DRY” and alleged that the family “found their next meal” in “Drago,” according to Deadline.

“Throughout history so many artists in every industry ,recording , painting writing , you name it have been destroyed by these blood suckers Who have destroyed so many families , lining their pockets with other people work.. #parasite producers #exploited artists victims,” Stallone added.

The Wrap reported last week that screenwriter Robert Lawton is set to write “Drago” after MGM was impressed by his spec script for “Becoming Rocky,” which chronicles the making of 1976’s “Rocky,” and his take on Drago. Lundgren’s character made a comeback in 2018’s “Creed 2,” which positioned Ivan’s son, Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), as the film’s antagonist. MGM owns the rights to the “Rocky” franchise, but it’s unclear what involvement the Winklers have in the reported project.


Sylvester Stallone took down ‘Rocky’ producer Irwin Winkler and his son David Winkler in a series of Instagram posts blasting the family.

July 18, 2022

Following Stallone’s latest remarks, Lundgren took to Instagram to “set the record straight” regarding the possible spinoff and said that he thought Stallone was involved in the upcoming project. The actor had previously suggested a project was in the works too.

“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,” Lundgren wrote Sunday on Instagram. “There was a press leak last week which was unfortunate. In touch with Mr Balboa - just so all the fans can relax…There ya go.”

Stallone, 76, has no producing credits on the six “Rocky” films that he wrote and starred in, four of which were sequels that he directed. The action star has been lobbying for his “rights” to the franchise and contends that he’s owed a greater ownership stake in it. Earlier this month, he unloaded on the Winkler family, specifically Irwin Winkler, whom he dubbed “the remarkably untalented and parasitical Producer of Rocky and Creed.”

In Beverly Park, ‘Rocky’ star Sylvester Stallone is asking $110 million for his 21,000-square-foot mansion with a knockout view.

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Winkler co-produced the “Rocky” films with late partner Robert Chartoff and also served as a producer on the spinoff “Creed” movies starring Michael B. Jordan as the title character. The third installment is due in November.

Winkler’s son David Winkler and Stallone share producing credits on the “Creed” films too.

Irwin Winkler did not immediately respond Monday to The Times’ request for comment, and David Winkler declined to comment.