Sylvester Stallone says he has 'zero ownership' of the 'Rocky' franchise

Tom Beasley
Sylvester Stallone at the awards ceremony of the 72nd international film festival, Cannes, Saturday, May 25, 2019. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

Sylvester Stallone has said he doesn’t have any equity in the Rocky franchise, despite the fact he created the characters for the original film.

The 73-year-old star, who was nominated for Oscars as both actor and writer for the 1976 film, told Variety he has “zero ownership” over the character and the series.

Stallone has earned millions of dollars from the Rocky franchise over the last four decades, reportedly earning more than $10m (£8m) for each of the Creed spin-off movies that have been released in the last couple of years.

However, he said he remains “furious” at the fact he doesn’t have a defined ownership stake in the series, despite having brought it up numerous times over the years following the success of Rocky II and Rocky III.

Read more: Stallone slams “horribly produced” Escape Plan 2

“I said I’d like to have some ownership since I invented it,” he said. “And that never happened. So I have zero ownership of Rocky.”

Sylvester Stallone first portrayed Rocky Balboa in 1976. (Credit: MGM)

Stallone added: “I love the system — don’t get me wrong. My kids and their kids, they’re taken care of because of the system.

“But there are dark little segues and people that have put it to you.

“They say the definition of Hollywood is someone who stabs you in the chest. They don’t even hide it.”

Read more: “They would’ve cast a kangaroo in Rocky

Anonymous sources quoted in the Variety article were mystified to hear Stallone was upset, given how much money he still rakes in from Rocky as a property.

They said: “He made money from every angle, and still does, so I don’t know what he’s complaining about.”

Sylvester Stallone as Rocky and Michael B. Jordan as Adonis in 'Creed'. (Credit: Warner Bros)

Stallone also reflected on how important the character is to him and said Rocky Balboa is “like my brother”.

He said he is currently working on a new story around the character and added that “they want to go tomorrow” when asked how close the “very timely” project is to fruition.

Read more: Delayed action sequels that were worth the wait

Whatever happens with the next Rocky movie, Stallone has returned to his other most famous franchise for Rambo: Last Blood.

Pitting the Vietnam veteran John Rambo against a Mexican drug cartel, the film is due to be released in September 2019.