Dolph Lundgren has weighed in on the scrum around the announcement that a Rocky spinoff film called Drago is reportedly in the works at MGM. His message was essentially, “Keep me out of it.”
After the news broke about the project, the franchise’s star and guiding light over the past five decades, Sylvester Stallone, went public with his discontent.
He did so yet again this weekend, posting a series of photos, the first of which depicts producer Irwin Winkler as a vampire with blood all over his face which he seemingly sucked from Stallone’s character Rocky Balboa’s neck. The final slide shows Rocky punching Ivan Drago, played by Lundgren in the 1985 film Rocky IV.
“After IRWIN WINKLER And FAMILY SUCK ROCKY DRY ! Presumed to be the most hated , untalented , decrepited , Producer in Hollywood and his cowardly children have found their next meal… Drago ?”
Now, Lundgren himself is seeking to clarify his involvement and offer his perspective. Apparently there is no ill will between the two actors.
“Just to set the record straight regarding a possible Drago spinoff,” wrote Lundgren on Instagram. “There’s no approved script, no deals in place, no director and I was personally under the impression that my friend Sly Stallone was involved as a producer or even as an actor. There was a press leak last week which was unfortunate. In touch with Mr Balboa – just so all the fans can relax…There ya go.”
It’s a sentiment confirmed in one of two now-deleted posts from Stallone over the past weekend in which after bashing Winkler he said, “I have nothing but respect for my true friend, Dolph Lundgren.”
The duo starred not just in Rocky IV together, but all four Expendables films as well as Creed II in 2018.
The creation of the first Rocky, its success at the box office and its success at the 1976 Oscars has entered film folklore but the rights to the franchise have long been a point of contention for Stallone, who was paid approximately $75k (for the screenplay and his acting fees) plus 10 net points which earned him at least $2.5 million for the first film, according to his calculation shared with Variety.
Caroline Frost and Rosy Cordero contributed to this post.