Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone has claimed that Irwin Winkler – the producer behind the ‘Rocky’ films and its sequel series ‘Creed’ is withholding a significant financial stake in the franchise from him. The 76-year-old Stallone shared a portrait of Winkler as a knife-tongued serpent through his Instagram on Sunday morning, reports Variety. The image came alongside a caption calling for a ‘fair gesture’ from the 93-year-old producer.
Stallone wrote on his Instagram: “A very flattering portrait of the great ‘Rocky’/’Creed’ producer, Irwin Winkler, from one of the country’s greatest. After Irwin controlling ‘Rocky’ for over 47 years, and now ‘Creed’, I really would like to have at least a little (of) 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?”
Variety further states that although Stallone received first-dollar gross on the early “Rocky” sequels and earned net points off of the 1976 original — which cost just over $1 million to produce and grossed $225 million globally — the actor maintains that he’s been deprived of an equity stake in the franchise.
“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,” Stallone’s Instagram post concluded.
It was earlier reported by Variety that Winkler was surprised to learn that Stallone was dissatisfied with his stake in the franchise, pointing to the tens of millions of dollars he received in profit participation and upfront fees. One source had stated that Stallone made more than $10 million on both ‘Creed’ and its 2018 sequel; Stallone starred in and produced both the projects.
The original 1976 film was conceived by, written by and starred Stallone, who went on to score Oscar nominations for best actor and best original screenplay. ‘Rocky’ took home statuettes for best picture, director and film editing at the 49th Academy Awards.