Sylvester Stallone Criticizes 'Rocky' Producer Over Rights Dispute: Want to 'Leave Something' for My Kids

Sylvester Stallone says the rights dispute "is a painful subject That eats at my soul , because I wanted to leave something of Rocky for my children"

sylvester stallone, irwin winkler
Sylvester Stallone (L); Irwin Winkler. Photo: Karwai Tang/WireImage; Jon Kopaloff/Getty

Sylvester Stallone is continuing to speak out about receiving what he considers an unfair piece of the Rocky pie.

Over the weekend, the 76-year-old actor shared an artist's rendering of Irwin Winkler, a producer on Rocky and its first four sequels, with a snake's body and a dagger for a tongue.

Stallone — who has claimed in the past that he has "zero ownership of" the franchise — slammed Winkler, 91, in the Instagram caption: "A VERY Flattering portrait of The Great Rocky/ Creed Producer , IRWIN WINKLER, from one of the country's greatest artist(s)."

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

Reps for Winkler did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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Stallone went on in the caption to share that the rights-ownership dispute "is a painful subject That eats at my soul , because I wanted to leave something of Rocky for my children."

"But it's always great hearing from the loyal fans … Keep Punching," he concluded.

Stallone is most recognizable for his turns as titular boxer Rocky Balboa in the original 1976 film and all seven sequels released thus far, from 1979's Rocky II to 2018's Creed II. (He will not appear in this fall's Michael B. Jordan-directed Creed III, marking Stallone's first time not in a Rocky film.)

He also boasts writing credits on the first six movies, as well as Creed II, and directed Rocky II, III and IV, plus 2006's Rocky Balboa.

Sylvester Stallone Rocky
Sylvester Stallone in Rocky (1976). Snap/Shutterstock

Back in 2019, Stallone sat down with Variety for an interview in which he discussed his regret over not pushing for ownership of the film that made him a global icon.

"I have zero ownership of Rocky," he claimed. "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?'"

Stallone added, "I was very angry. I was furious. Rocky is on TV around the world more than any other Oscar-winning film other than The Godfather. You have six of them, and now you have Creed and Creed II."

The original 1976 film earned 10 Academy Award nominations, including acting and writing nods for Stallone. It won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Film Editing.

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