After reading a report about a spinoff in the works involving his old screen nemesis Ivan Drago, who was played by Dolph Lundgren, Stallone again accused producer Irwin Winkler and his family of siphoning profits off his creations.
“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…” he wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post Saturday, per People.
“I never wanted ROCKY characters to be exploited by these parasites…” he added.
Stallone appeared to stoke real-life animosity with the actor who played his fictional boxing rival, Russian giant Ivan Drago, in “Rocky IV.”
“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,” he continued.
Lundgren later posted on Instagram that he was “under the impression that my friend Sly Stallone was involved as a producer or even as an actor. 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.”
Last month, Stallone used a newly released book by David Winkler to publicly gripe that he had no ownership rights in the “Rocky” universe he created and starred in, though he has said he and his family are set for life because of the movies.
Irwin Winkler has a stranglehold on “Rocky” and its sequels, plus the “Creed” movie spinoffs starring Michael B. Jordan, Stallone said. (Another film, this time directed by Jordan, is slated for a fall release.)
“After IRWIN controlling ROCKY for over 47 years , and now CREED, , I really would like (to) 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 wrote in another now-deleted Instagram post. “This is a painful subject That eats at my soul , because I wanted to leave something of Rocky for my children.”
The Winkler family previously declined to comment to HuffPost, but we’ve reached out again.