Sylvester Stallone refuses to watch Creed III until the rights to the Rocky franchise are returned to him.
Sylvester Stallone has had a torrid relationship with his Rocky franchise, as he sold the rights to the movie back in the 1970s to Irwin Winkler. Stallone has been quite vocal about Winkler not allowing Stallone to have the rights back to the franchise that he wrote and started. Sylvester Stallone told Men’sHealth that he will never see Creed III because, “You can’t make peace with someone who’s been so, so nefarious, in my opinion.”
Irwin Winkler has been a longtime producer of the franchise, which has now branched on past the Rocky movies. Sylvester Stallone did work with Michael B. Jordan in Creed and Creed II, though he has stated that he will never see the third movie, and that has all to do with the disdain he feels towards Winkler. Stallone did state that he would love to work with Jordan again, as long as Winkler is not involved.
Sylvester Stallone may have been in the first two Creed movies, but his attitude toward his creative legacy has clearly changed since then. Stallone would go on several tirades online, attacking Winkler, stating that he is, “picking clean the bones of another wonderful character I created.” What seems odd about these tirades is that Stallone seems to be attacking Winkler, and not just flat-out asking for the rights to the franchise to be returned to him.
Sylvester Stallone also stated his issue with Creed and the Rocky franchises is about creative legacy and not about money. He wrote the first Rocky movie back in 1975 and had no choice but to sell the rights to Irwin Winkler, as he was acting out of necessity, and practically had no other sources of income. Unfortunately, his selling of those rights meant he would not be able to cash in on the following nine movies in the franchise.
Sylvester Stallone did state that he wants the rights to the Rocky and Creed franchise out of it being his own creative legacy, which makes sense. He wrote the first movie, which was the basis for an additional five movies, and now there are going to be three spinoff movies that follow the same story. Creed is based on Apollo Creed’s son and Creed II follows Ivan Drago‘s son Viktor, so it would make sense why Stallone states that his characters are being ripped off now.
We are not entirely sure if Sylvester Stallone is ever going to get the rights back to Rocky and Creed, but we would imagine that he might have already asked nicely, which is why his responses are a bit angrier now. Still, the filmmaking world is a business, and Winkler is likely making a lot of money off the franchise and does not want to give up the rights so easily. Who knows, maybe Winkler could name Stallone in his will when he passes on, which would pass those franchise rights back to the actor.
Sylvester Stallone may not go see Creed III, but the anticipated sequel that sees Michael B. Jordan face off against Johnathan Majors is set to debut on March 3, 2023. For those who are huge fans of Stallone, you could join his boycott and not see the movie to honor Stallone, or just ignore it completely. Either way, it appears that Stallone is never going to support or forgive Winkler until the rights to his creation are passed back.