Sylvester Stallone opens up about not owning rights to ‘Rocky’

Peace is not an option.

Sylvester Stallone opened up about not owning the rights to the iconic “Rocky” movie franchise during an interview on SiriusXM’s “Pop Culture Spotlight with Jessica Shaw”.

Stallone was promoting his upcoming TV series “Tulsa King,” when Shaw asked the 76-year-old if there was any chance of “making peace” with Irwin Winkler, who owns the rights to the films in the “Rocky” and “Creed” franchise.

“You can’t make peace with someone who’s been so, so nefarious in my, in my opinion,” Stallone said.

The “Rambo” star went on to say “everyone made out well,” but no one was supposed to do better than anyone else.

Stallone talked about the odd situation of Winkler owning the rights to the film he created. He reminded listeners even Stephen Spielberg doesn’t own the rights to “Jaws” which are owned by Universal Pictures.

Stallone made it clear it’s not about the money for him, but more of him wanting to leave something from “Rocky” behind to his family once he’s gone.

“I wrote it. I thought it would be nice to say, ‘Here’s the gesture darling here. Beautiful children, beautiful wife. When I’m long gone, this is you. This is what I made for you.’”

Stallone said he and his family would never own the rights to the “Rocky” franchise.

One of the most successful film series of all time, the “Rocky” franchise has amassed a whopping $1.7 billion, including the twoCreed” spin-offs.

Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa and Talia Shire as Adrian in Rocky. (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Stallone makes it clear that he has no intentions of making peace with Winkler.
Corbis via Getty Images

Calling the whole ordeal a “rough emotional ride,” Stallone said he would never watch “Creed 3,” which is set to be released in March 2023.

Stallone has no beef with “Creed” star Michael B. Jordan, saying he would sign on for a “Creed 4” as long as Winkler and his son, David, were not involved.

David Winkler has been a producer with the franchise since 2006’s “Rocky Balboa.”

The ownership of the “Rocky” franchise has long been a touchy topic for Stallone, who was paid $75,000 for his original screenplay and acting fees, plus 10 net points, which earned him at least $2.5 million on the first film, according to Variety.

Rocky and Mickey training.
The franchise has made over a billion dollars, but owning the rights to the franchise isn’t about the money to Stallone.
Bettmann Archive

The original “Rocky” grossed $225 million globally.

“Our commitment to him was that he could star in it,” Winkler told The Hollywood Reporter in 1983.

“We convinced United Artists to give us the money to make it. They would only give us a limited amount of money, and they said that we had to put up our houses as collateral. We really mortgaged ourselves to make sure that we brought it in on time, and we did.”

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