"I never wanted ROCKY characters to be exploited by these parasites," the actor shared via social media.
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Sylvester Stallone is speaking out against the new Rocky spin-off Drago, calling producers who have "exploited" the franchise he created "parasites." 

The actor expressed his outrage in an Instagram post on Saturday, sharing a news article about the upcoming film and condemning those behind the production. While he did not address anyone by name, his reference to a "94-year-old producer" implies he is directing his comments at the producer of the series, Irwin Winkler. Though 91, he has come under fire from the Oscar-winning actor on several occasions. He also appears to reference his children, producers Charles and David Winkler. 

"Another Heartbreaker… Just found this out… ONCE AGAIN , this PATHETIC 94 year old PRODUCER and HIS MORONIC USELESS VULTURE CHILDREN, Charles And David, are once again picking clean THE BONES of another wonderful character I created without even telling me," Stallone wrote. 

ROCKY II, Sylvester Stallone, 1979
Sylvester Stallone condemns 'Rocky' spin-off 'Drago,' says franchise's characters are being 'exploited'
| Credit: United Artists/Courtesy Everett Collection

He concluded with an apology to fans, noting it was not his intention for the characters to be "exploited."

"I APOLOGIZE to the FANS, I never wanted ROCKY characters to be exploited by these parasites."

Despite his opposition to the project, Stallone made it clear that he has no ill will towards actor Dolph Lundgren, who portrays Ivan Drago in Rocky IV and Creed II and is on board for the latest installment. But the 76-year-old shared he wishes Lundgren had informed him of the latest development. 

"By the way, I have nothing but respect for Dolph but I wish HE had told me what was going on behind my back," he added. "Keep your REAL friends close."

Stallone has been vocal about his wish to overtake control over the franchise in the past. Earlier this month, he shared a post in which he called on Winkler to give him what was left of the rights. 

"After IRWIN controlling ROCKY for over 47 years, and now CREED, I really would like [to] have at least a little [of] WHAT's LEFT of my RIGHTS back, before passing it on to ONLY YOUR CHILDREN," Stallone wrote. "I believe That would be a FAIR gesture from this 93 year old gentleman ?"

Sylvester Stallone attends the Launch of Paramount+ UK at Outernet London on June 20, 2022 in London, England.
Credit: Mike Marsland/WireImage

"I wanted to leave something of Rocky for my children," he added, "but it's always great hearing from the loyal fans… Keep Punching."

The character of Rocky Balboa was created by a then-struggling Stallone, who was fighting to break into Hollywood. He would headline five films and even direct Rockys II-IV. He then returned for the Creed movies, starring Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Johnson, the son of Apollo Creed (played by Carl Weathers in Rockys I-IV).

The star shared his frustrations over not having an ownership stake in the franchise in a 2019 interview with Variety

"I have zero ownership of Rocky," he said. "Every word, every syllable, every grammatical error was all my fault. It was shocking that it never came to be, but I was told, 'Hey, you got paid, so what are you complaining about?' I was furious."

While it's unclear where this battle is heading next, fans can enjoy Stallone as the beloved character once again when Creed III hits theaters this Nov. 23.

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