‘Happy Days’ Star Attempted to Make a ‘Rocky’ Film with Sylvester Stallone: Why It Didn’t Happen

by Keeli Parkey

During an interview with Bobbie Wygant, one “Happy Days” television star talked about a very interesting project he wanted to make with his friend, Sylvester Stallone. That star was “The Fonz” himself, Henry Winkler.

Sadly, that project never materialized. However, that doesn’t keep fans from wondering what might have been. Winkler shared details of why the project did not happen during the interview.

Winkler and Stallone worked together on a film that was released in 1974. Titled, “The Lords of Flatbush,” the movie followed the antics of four teenage greasers who live in Brooklyn, New York, during the late 1950s.

The two future stars got to know one another. In fact, Winkler had the chance to read a script in which Stallone’s famous character, Rocky Balboa, appears. According to the “Happy Days” actor, that film was titled “Hell’s Kitchen.” It was eventually made, without the character of Rocky, into a film called “Paradise Alley.”

Upon reading that script, Winkler wanted to make it into a television movie. He said he took it to ABC and Paramount to get it made. However, the studios “wanted to rewrite it.” So, the “Happy Days” actor decided not to move forward.

As movie fans know, Sylvester Stallone went on to make bring Rocky Balboa to life on the big screen with “Rocky” in 1976 to much acclaim. The original film made Stallone a star and led to several sequels.

‘Happy Days’ Actor Henry Winkler Said Not Getting to Make ‘Rocky’ Film With Sylvester Stallone ‘Didn’t Happen for a Reason’

Of course, Bobbie Wygant wanted to know if “Happy Days” star Henry Winkler would have liked to have worked on a “Rocky” project with Sylvester Stallone.

“I never look at things like that,” Winkler said. “I always think that if it didn’t happen, it didn’t happen for a reason. And in (Stallone’s) life, it didn’t happen so that he could create ‘Rocky.’ That was his starting point and then from there he will create whatever he can.”

Thinking about the past was something Henry Winkler did not allow himself to do.

“So, I never look back and think to myself in negative terms, ‘Oh, I should have done that,’ or ‘I would have done it. I’m sorry I didn’t do that,” the “Happy Days” star explained.

Winkler actually took a very matter-of-fact approach to how he viewed the past.

“If I was supposed to have done it, it would have happened,” he also said during the interview. “You know, I was supposed to go and do other things – like ‘The One and Only’ – which I am very proud of. I love the movie. … And people enjoy it. People enjoy it so much that people tell me that they must go back and see it again because the audience laughed so hard they missed a lot of the lines.”

Bringing joy to people through his work was a goal for Winkler, the said.

“That’s what it’s all about,” he also said. “I’m dedicated to making people feel good and through the way that I can create things.”

You can watch Henry Winkler during his interview with Bobbie Wygant below.