Sylvester Stallone wants more credit for Rocky than a statue at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The actor has called on Irwin Winkler, the classic action film’s producer, to grant Stallone “what’s left” of his rights to the film. Although Stallone wrote and starred the five-film Rocky franchise, he does not own any of the rights to the works.
Stallone shared his request via Instagram, accompanied by a graphic of Winkler with a sword protruding from his mouth and a snake coiled around his neck. In the caption to the photo Stallone himself called “very flattering,” he clearly (and with the liberal use of all-caps) calls on Winkler to hand over what Stallone feels he is owed.
“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 writes. “This is a painful subject That eats at my soul , because I wanted to leave something of Rocky for my children.”
In the years since Stallone was its star, the Rocky franchise has expanded, with 2015's Creed, 2018's Creed 2, and now a new Rocky film set for a November 23 release that marks the first Stallone doesn’t appear in. Stallone has previously expressed anger over his exclusion from the Rocky rights, and told Variety in 2019 he was “furious” about the matter. He described bringing up the issue of creative ownership to his agency, CAA, but being told because he was paid for the films he didn’t have grounds to stand on.
“I love the system — don’t get me wrong. My kids and their kids, they’re taken care of because of the system. But there are dark little segues and people that have put it to ya,” Stallone lamented in the interview. “They say the definition of Hollywood is someone who stabs you in the chest. They don’t even hide it.”