Does Irwin Winkler own Rocky?

Sylvester Stallone is expressing a strong desire to reclaim “what’s left of (his) rights” to the Rocky franchise from producer Irwin Winkler. The iconic actor, who kickstarted the successful boxing series with the 1976 film “Rocky,” a project he conceived, wrote, and starred in, faces a complex ownership situation as he sold the rights to his screenplay to producers Winkler and the late Robert Chartoff.

Despite being the creative force behind the franchise, Stallone currently holds no ownership stake in the series. On Instagram, the action star recently posted an illustration depicting Winkler as a snake with a knife, accompanied by a plea for the producer to reconsider and return some rights to him. Stallone emphasized the desire to leave a legacy for his children but expressed the frustration of not having a greater financial interest in the franchise he helped create.

In a previous post, Stallone went further, describing Winkler as “remarkably untalented and parasitical.” He claimed that Winkler prevented him from making additional Rocky movies and lamented the absence of several potential sequels. Stallone expressed deep admiration for Robert Chartoff, Winkler’s late partner, who he believed had genuine talent and soul.

Stallone, now 76, had previously raised concerns about ownership rights in the early days of the franchise, particularly before the release of “Rocky IV” in 1985. Despite his significant contributions, Stallone’s request for a share in the franchise’s rights was met with indifference from the studio, leaving him without the financial stake he hoped to leave for his children.

The ongoing public dispute between Stallone and Winkler highlights the complex dynamics of ownership in the film industry, where creative visionaries may find themselves navigating challenging contractual agreements. Stallone’s desire to secure a piece of the franchise he poured his heart into remains a poignant aspect of this ongoing Hollywood drama. As the saga continues, fans are left to wonder about the fate of Rocky’s legacy and Stallone’s quest for a fair share in the iconic film series.