The 76-year-old Hollywood legend wrote and starred in the 1976 film. Stallone has also had a hand in all the sequels and spinoffs up until now, but will not be part of the third “Creed” movie, according to Deadline.
The actor has long been at odds with “Rocky” producer Irwin Winkler for what he believes is unfair treatment. Per Deadline, the Golden Globe award winner was paid approximately $75,000 for the movie plus 10% of the film’s net profit, for a total of around $2.5 million. The film earned $225 million worldwide and was the highest-grossing movie of 1976, per IMDb.
“A VERY Flattering portrait of The Great Rocky/ Creed Producer , IRWIN WINKLER, from one of the country‘s greatest artist …,” Stallone shared on his official Instagram account. The accompanying photo shows Winkler with the body of a serpent and a blade in his mouth.
“ALSO after IRWIN controlling ROCKY for over 47 years , and now CREED, , I really would like have at least a little WHAT’s LEFT of my RIGHTS back, before passing it on to ONLY YOUR CHILDREN – I believe That would be a FAIR gesture from this 93 year old gentleman ?,” Stallone’s caption continues.
“This is a painful subject That eats at my soul , because I wanted to leave something of Rocky for my children, but it’s always great hearing from the loyal fans… Keep Punching.”
In a 2019 interview with Variety, Stallone candidly shared how he feels cheated by the industry.
“I have zero ownership of ‘Rocky,’” he told the publication. “Every word, every syllable, every grammatical error was all my fault. It was shocking that it never came to be, but I was told, ‘Hey, you got paid, so what are you complaining about?’ I was furious.”
Stallone said he didn’t know enough to fight for ownership at the time. “You don’t want to ruffle the feathers of the golden goose,” he explained.
Elsewhere in the interview, Stallone discusses how he came up with the idea for “Rocky” when he was toiling as a broke actor in Manhattan. He wrote the script in three days.
“It is really a metaphor for life,” Stallone said of the story. “This was a love story. [Rocky] happens to box for a living, but the story is about his love for [his wife, Adrian Balboa, played by Talia Shire]. You root for the underdog, and he had something to fight for — her.”