“I Once Had Nothing but Respect for Dolph”: Sylvester Stallone Once Accused ‘Rocky’ Co-Star for Going Behind His Back Amid Ownership Rights Dispute With ‘Creed’ Producers

Published 01/24/2023, 2:45 PM EST

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The ‘Rocky’ and ‘Rambo’ series mean the world to Sylvester Stallone. The first ‘Rocky’ hit the cinema halls nearly forty-six years ago. It changed the ways as far as sports-based moviemaking and viewing went. The actor struggling since 1968, saw a reversal of fortunes by the mid-seventies. His script about a down-and-out struggling boxer from the suburbs found ready acceptance from a select group of producers. The idea hit the actor when he saw fellow New Yorker Chuck Wepner take on the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali. The two faced off at Ohio’s Richfield Coliseum on March 24, 1975.

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However, during the discussion with producers, Stallone clarified his willingness to sell the script provided he played Rocky Balboa’s pivotal role. Finally, producer duo Irwin Winkler and Robert Charthoff who produced previous cult classics such as Point Blank, relented, albeit on a shoestring budget.

At the forty-ninth Academy Awards function, the movie grabbed three, one of which was for Best Picture. In 2006, the sixth installment of the movie reached the world.

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Sylvester Stallone and the ‘Rocky’ ownership dispute

However, while Rocky Balboa arose from each conflict unscathed in ‘reel life’, in real life, another contest brewed. It’s been some time since Sylvester Stallone turned vocal about the bitterness he felt for decades. It was primarily because of the loss of control over the profitable franchise he created and acted on. ‘The Italian Stallion’ laments not owning the brand. Something like an annuity he could have bequeathed to his children upon his death.

It’s a different fact that the “first-dollar gross,” or receiving money from the day of release, was purportedly paid to Sly in the early ‘Rocky’ sequels. Likewise, the first ‘Rocky’ grossed $225 million, and he made a profit from it. Though, the total cost of producing the movie stood at around $1 million.

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According to the entertainment magazine Variety, Stallone’s complaints came as a shock to the production company. Stallone reportedly made over $10 million as a star and producer on ‘Creed’ and its 2018 edition.

The Italian Stallion vs. Capt. Ivan Drago

As per an article in the US Magazine, sometime in July last year, the Hollywood legend took to his Instagram handle and posted a few comments. It read, “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.”

However, this time, the co-star of the 1985 release “Rocky IV” was also in Sly’s crosshairs. The movie had Swedish actor Dolph Lundgren playing the antagonist, Captain Ivan Drago. Lundgren reportedly would be acting in a movie based on his 1985 movie’s character. Upset with the move, Stallone called it a travesty and one done without his consent. Stallone also criticized his long-time friend for agreeing to be in the film, knowing very well how the former opposed the idea.

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He said, “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.”

For his physique and martial arts skills, Dolph Lundgren is relatively well-known. During the 80s, he moved to the United States. So in an interview, he once said it was Stallone who inspired him to get into bodybuilding during that phase.

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What is your take on Sylvester Stallone’s comments? Do share your views and opinions with us in the comments below.

Watch Out for More: Despite Earning Over $10 Million, Creed 2 Is Sylvester Stallone’s Least Favorite Movie He Ever Acted In

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Written by:

Jaideep R Unnithan

1,358Articles

One take at a time

After completing 18 years in the corporate sector, Jaideep decided to make a move out of the comfort zone and follow his heart's calling to becoming a writer. His understanding of Boxing began with Iron Mike's debut as an 18 year old in 1985. Like anyone and everyone else, he holds Muhammad Ali as the greatest, though his personal favorite remains the 'PacMan' Manny Pacquiao for his speed and sheer toughness.
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Edited by:

Shibu Immanuel

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