Rumors of “Rocky” Spinoff Leave Sylvester Stallone Fuming

The new movie would focus on Russian boxer Ivan Drago

Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren at the premiere of “Creed” in 2015 in Westwood, California.
Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren at the premiere of “Creed” in 2015 in Westwood, California.
Todd Williamson/Getty Images

Last month, a long-running feud between Sylvester Stallone and Rocky producer Irwin Winkler became very public when Stallone took to social media to express his frustration with Winkler and call for his rights to the character of Rocky Balboa back. Over the weekend, Stallone discovered something else that magnified his frustrations: news of a rumored film focusing on the Drago family, antagonists in Rocky IV and Creed II.

As The Hollywood Reporter writes, Stallone again took to Instagram to criticize 91-year-old Winkler. “ONCE AGAIN , PATHETIC 94 year old PRODUCER and HIS SELFISH USELESS CHILDREN are once again picking what is left OFF THE BONES of another wonderful character!!!” Stallone wrote in a post that appears to have been deleted since the original Hollywood Reporter article was published.

Cue Dolph Lundgren, who played Ivan Drago in the Rocky and Creed franchises, and who also took to social media in an effort to clarify matters and calm things down. On Instagram, the 64-year-old actor offered more details on the project, emphasizing that it’s very much a work in progress at this point.

“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. “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.”

This latest spinoff begs the question of whether Amazon’s purchase of MGM has led to the potential expansion of — for lack of a better phrase — the Rocky cinematic universe.

That’s one entertainment industry trend that seems at play here. The other, unfortunately, is the issue that creators are finding in terms of getting the money due to them for the work they’ve done that’s led to successful films. Stallone’s issue with this particular project is another example of this, and it’s unlikely to be the last.

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