On Saturday, Rocky franchise producers announced the creation of a spin-off titled Drago, which will centre on Ivan Drago, a popular character from Rocky IV. The development, however, has not gone down well with Sylvester Stallone, the creator and star of the original Rocky series. The veteran action star called the announcement “another heartbreaker,” criticising the producers.

The comments come just a week after he chastised Irwin Winkler, the series’ producer, for allegedly denying him the franchise’s rights for nearly five decades. Stallone wrote and starred in the first Rocky film, which was released in 1976 and spawned several sequels and a spin-off series in Creed.

Stallone slammed Winkler and his children on Instagram on Saturday without naming them. “Yet another heartbreaker… I just discovered this… “Once again, pathetic 94-year-old producer and his selfish useless children are picking what’s left off the bones of another wonderful character!!! (sic),” the 76-year-old actor wrote about Drago, played by Dolph Lundgren in the series. “How do you weasels look in the mirror?” he continued.

Drago, which will focus on Dolph’s Russian boxer of the same name, which he portrayed in 1985’s Rocky IV, as well as his son Viktor Drago (played by Florian Munteanu), who debuted in Creed II, was announced earlier this week by MGM Studios. The Creed series, starring Michael B Jordan, is a spin-off of Sylvester Stallone’s iconic Rocky franchise.

Stallone apologised to his fans in his post. “I’m sorry to the fans, I’m sorry to the fans.” “I never wanted Rocky to be used for this kind of greed… # no shame #sad day #Parasite (sic),” he added.

Rocky is based on boxer Rocky Balboa’s rise and fall. The first film, starring Carl Weathers, Talia Shire, and Burt Young, is widely regarded as one of the greatest sports films of all time. Rocky II (1979), Rocky III (1982), Rocky IV (1985), Rocky V (1990), and Rocky Balboa (1991) were the sequels (2006). Creed, a spin-off, was released in 2015, followed by Creed II in 2018.

Creed III, the franchise’s ninth instalment, will be released later this year. The film, Michael’s directorial debut, is the first in which Sylvester does not appear. He does, however, work as a producer. The film will be released on November 23rd.

By Piya

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