Despite being one of the biggest stars of the 1980s, Sylvester Stallone has continuously made movies that people absolutely adore. Above all is the Rocky franchise, which includes the three Creed films. While Stallone is undoubtedly the face of the franchise, he’ll no longer take part in it. And this news is more than unwelcome by fans.
When Sylvester Stallone addressed his lack of involvement in the third Creed movie there was a tidal wave of a reaction on the internet. As for Stallone himself, he called the whole thing a “regrettable situation”. While he wished star Michael B. Jordan well, he was open about being unhappy with the direction of the third installment. More importantly, he’s been open about his constant struggle with the rather convoluted financial situation that surrounds it.
Does Sylvester Stallone Have Rights To Rocky?
Despite being the star and, most importantly, the mastermind behind the first Rocky film, Slyvester Stallone has no ownership of it. The same goes for all of the Rocky sequels and spin-offs, including the Creed films. While Stallone profited from the backend success of the initial movie that launched also his career, he was never written into the ownership contract, according to Variety.
This was particularly insulting to Stallone since he was the one who wrote and conceived the franchise-launching script. But at the time it happened, Stallone didn’t know what was going on. He has asserted that he wasn’t protected by his representation.
After the second and third movies came out, Stallone started to see his franchise really taking off. While his salary grew (as did his points on the backend), Stallone’s pleas to be made a partner was continuously turned down by MGM and producer Irwin Winkler.
Because he didn’t have the support of his lawyer, and he was preoccupied with other aspects of his career, Stallone didn’t fight back. But as time went on, and MGM and Winkler continued not to budge, Stallone became angrier.
“I said, ‘Does it bother you guys that I’ve written every word, I’ve choreographed it, I’ve been loyal to you, I’ve promoted it, directed it and I don’t have 1% that I could leave for my children?'” Stallone explained to Variety. “And the quote was, ‘You got paid.’ And that was the end of the conversation.”
Will Sylvester Stallone Get The Rocky Rights?
According to Sylvester Stallone, there’s no chance that he’ll ever be made a part owner of the franchise he created. During a November 2022 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Stallone addressed the controversy which was sparked by a now-deleted Instagram post where he publicly called out producer Irwin Winkler.
“[Being cut into the deal is] never gonna happen. It was a deal that was done unbeknownst to me by people that I thought were close to me and they basically gave away whatever rights I would have had,” Sylvester Stallone said to The Hollywood Reporter.
“At the time I was so excited to be working and I didn’t understand this is a business. Who knew Rocky would go on for another 45 years? I’ve never used one [line of dialogue] from anyone else — and the irony is that I don’t own any of it. The people who have done literally nothing, control it.”
Why Sylvester Stallone Isn’t In Creed 3
During his interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Sylvester Stallone made it clear that he stopped being in Rocky and Creed movies as he is fed up with not being treated like an equal.
“They wanted another Rocky. And I was willing to do it. But I said, ‘After 45 years, can we change the playing field a little bit? Level it out? Can’t I get a piece of what I created all these years ago?'” Stallone explained to The Hollywood Reporter before claiming that, in his most recent dispute, he wasn’t trying to make money from any of the previous films, just the ones moving forward.
“Just from now on. I didn’t expect to get –– yeah, forget that. [The producers] still get a piece. I don’t want anyone to control it. If I write it and the studio agrees to do it, it’s done,” Stallone continued. “You can’t [make a Rocky sequel] just because you want your children to have a job. Or if you don’t get more money, that you can block it. The other producer, Bob Chartoff, was always very nice. Irwin Winkler was just the opposite.”
Despite appearing in the first two Creed movies, Stallone wasn’t even asked to take part in the upcoming Dolph Lundgren-led Drago spin-off. Nor was he made an executive producer of the Creed movies, which star Michael B. Jordan.
“The Dolph thing, again. This is a classic case of them going around and trying to continually cherry-pick aspects of Rocky without even asking me if I want to join in. I’m not an executive producer on the Creed movies,” Stallone admitted. “[Director] Ryan Coogler is. [Star] Michael B. Jordan is. [Winkler and Chartoff’s] children are. Not mine. I’m the only one left out.”
For these reasons and more, Sylvester Stallone decided to bow out of the third Creed movie. At this time, it doesn’t appear as though he’ll ever return to the franchise nor get a financial stake in it.