Sylvester Stallone’s Artistic Bid to Claim Some ‘Rocky’ Rights
He published a picture of producer Irwin Winkler as a serpent with a knife blade for a tongue, referring to the actor’s belief that he's been lied to over the past four decades.
Stallone has spent many years arguing that the deal he signed with Winkler poorly served him. He was paid $75,000 for the first Rocky script, while an allocation of 10 net points secured him at least $2.2 million, because its box office is listed as $225 million. But he was never happy with his cut as the franchise expanded. Winkler also owns the rights to the 2015 and 2017 Creed movies and the upcoming third film since it’s an extension of the Rocky universe.
“A very flattering portrait of the great Rocky/Creed producer, Irwin Winkler, from one of the country’s greatest artists," Stallone wrote on social media alongside the image. “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?”
Stallone added that "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.”
Deadline reported that Stallone had previously addressed the reason he didn’t push harder for more rights in the early days. "There was a certain code of business conduct, maybe not as much now, but back then, that you don’t ruffle the feathers of the golden goose.” Winkler has previously stated that he believes Stallone was treated fairly.