‘Rocky’ Star Sylvester Stallone Doubles Down on ‘Drago’ Spinoff Criticism

by Craig Garrett

Tulsa King star Sylvester Stallone took to his official Instagram to once again criticize producers behind an upcoming Rocky spinoff. MGM was recently bought by powerhouse streaming service Amazon. The Rocky series is owned by MGM, so now Amazon is mining the intellectual property for its worth.

Their first project is a Rocky spin-off called Drago. Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) was slain in the ring by Soviet Olympic boxer Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) in Rocky IV. Sylvester Stallone wrote and directed that installment of the franchise. The Dragos made their return in Creed II back in 2018 when Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) faced off against Ivan’s son, Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu).

Though some fans were excited about the news, Stallone has been highly critical. He called out producers of Drago yesterday on Instagram. Once again, Stallone slammed producer Irwin Winkler for “sucking the blood” out of the franchise he began in 1976.

Stallone goes all in about the Rocky Spin-off

Sylvester Stallone shared a pointedly photoshopped image. It shows producer Irwin Winkler as a vampire, sucking blood from the neck of a battered Rocky Balboa. The Hollywood legend did not mince words.

“After IRWIN WINKLER And FAMILY SUCK ROCKY DRY,” he wrote. “Presumed to be the most hated, untalented, decrepit, Producer in Hollywood and his cowardly children have found their next meal… Drago, RETURN MY RIGHTS BLOODSUCKERS! Throughout history so many artists in every industry, recording, painting writing, you name it have been destroyed by these bloodsuckers,” Stallone ranted. [They] have destroyed so many families, lining their pockets with other people!”

Stallone goes on to call out his Rocky IV co-star, Dolph Lundgren. “DOLPH, why? Not a phone call?” The post received tens of thousands of likes and a ton of comments. Many fans said they would boycott any spinoff without Stallone.

Drago would be the first Rocky spin-off without Stallone’s blessing

The first Rocky spin-off was Creed in 2015. The filmmakers went out of their way to involve Stallone and get his blessing. That was not the case with the proposed Drago film. It’s easy to understand why Stallone feels a sense of ownership over the franchise. It’s been more than 45 years since Sylvester Stallone first starred in Rocky. Stallone famously wrote every installment of the original series. The legendary underdog sports drama has inspired numerous sequels. Of course, Stallone created Drago. It’s understandable that the proposed film would be frustrating.

Last year, Lundgren teased about the Drago project. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, said that a spinoff was on the way. “By the way, I think there’s some talk about doing a whole spinoff on Drago with MGM. So you may get more of that,” Lundgren said. According to The Wrap, MGM has hired screenwriter Robert Lawton to write the Drago spinoff. Lawton reportedly landed the gig after impressing MGM with his speculative screenplay Becoming Rocky.