Sylvester Stallone has called out Dolph Lundgren and branded “Rocky” producers "parasites" over plans for new spin-off movie, “Drago”.
The Hollywood action man has been battling producer Irwin Winkler to regain the rights to the boxing franchise after writing and starring in the hit 1976 original as well as its sequels – and now he's lashed out over plans for a new film with Dolph reprising his “Rocky IV” role as Rocky Balboa’s boxer nemesis, Ivan Drago.
In a post on Instagram, Stallone shared screenshots of the film’s announcement and wrote: “Once again, Irwin Winkler, this pathetic 94-year-old producer and his moronic vulture children, Charles and David, are picking clean the bones of another wonderful character I created without even telling me ...
“I apologise to the fans, I never wanted ‘Rocky’ characters to be exploited by these parasites ….
“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.”
Stallone went on to add a picture which showed Winkler as a vampire sucking the blood of Rocky Balboa, and wrote in the caption: “After Irwin Winkler and family suck ‘Rocky’ dry! ...
“Presumed to be the most hated, untalented, decrepited (sic) producer in Hollywood and his cowardly children have found their next meal … Drago, returned my rights bloodsuckers!”
He added: “Throughout history, so many artists in every industry – recording, painting writing, you name it – have been destroyed by these blood suckers. Who have destroyed so many families, lining their pockets with other people! Dolph, why? Not a phone call? #Parasite producers #exploited artists victims.”
Lundgren later responded to the posts by sharing a picture of the two actors together and insisted he thought Stallone was involved in the new movie project.
The 64-year-old “Masters of the Universe” star wrote: “Just to set the record straight regarding a possible ‘Drago’ spin-off. There’s no approved script, no deals in place, no director and I was personally 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.”
“Rocky” was a huge hit after its release in 1976, scoring big at the box office and winning three Oscars, including the coveted Best Picture gong. Stallone was nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal of boxer Rocky Balboa and for Best Screenplay for his writing.
He went on to star in four “Rocky” sequels as well as 2006’s “Rocky Balboa” and he landed another Oscar nomination for his role in 2015 spin-off movie “Creed”, in which he revived his boxer character once again.
The character of Drago debuted in 1985’s “Rocky IV” and went on to make further appearances in “Rocky V” in 1990 as well as spin-off sequel, “Creed II”.