We're probably all clear Hollywood icon Sylvester Stallone is not to be messed with—the dude's Rocky Balboa and Rambo for heaven's sake.
But if there was any doubt, the beef he aired on Instagram this week with an old colleague? Hoo boy, that'll set you straight real quick.
In a series of posts Sunday, Stallone lambasted the producers of his Oscar-nominated Rocky films and their spin-off Creed series—Irwin, David and Charles Winkler—for shutting Stallone out of any of the rights to the films based on characters he created.
Stallone has since deleted the posts.
The first post depicted Winkler as a giant-headed snake with a dagger for a tongue, which Stallone called a "VERY flattering portrait" of Winkler in a caption in which he did not mince any words.
"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?”
"This 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....”
Stallone created the character and original story of Rocky, garnering Academy Award nominations for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay for the film in 1977.
The film won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Editing that year and went on to spawn five sequels, two Creed spin-offs and a forthcoming third in November.
Despite that legacy, Winkler has never agreed to share with Stallone any rights to the works he originated and helped create, and it seems Stallone has had quite enough.
But Stallone wasn't done there.
Later in the day, he posted a one star review of David Winkler's memoir The Arrangement: A Love Story. David Winkler is Irwin's son as well as a producer of the Creed franchise along with his brother Charles.
"You know I love reading and I’ve read thousands of books but I have to say THIS one is by far the worst! If you ever run out of toilet paper PLEASE [buy] this one you won’t be disappointed.”
Stallone savaged David Winkler and spilled tea about Irwin Winkler's role in the production of Rocky and Creed, writing:
"This unbearable worthless dreck was written by the painfully untalented David Winkler who is the son of the remarkably untalented and parasitical Producer of Rocky and Creed"
"Even though I barely ever saw him around in all those years, the one and only Irwin Winkler and wife Margot."
"I really respected and LOVED his wonderful partner ROBERT CHARTOFF Who had real talent and SOUL, but unfortunately passed away much too soon……."
And just in case it wasn't indisputably clear how he feels about Winkler, Stallone went on to say:
"If it wasn’t for Winkler there would’ve been at least another three ‘Rocky’’s, that would’ve been wonderful."
"Frankly that crew are the worst unhunman beings I’ve ever met in the movie industry. I will forever love the loyal fans and keep punching.!!! REMEMBER IT FEELS GOOD TO CLEAR YOUR HEART.”
When you've been in the industry as long as Stallone has, that's really saying something.
In another post featuring the Irwin family depicted as vampires paired with a bloodied Rocky, Stallone wrote:
"WELCOME TO THE REAL ROCKY HORROR SHOW!!"
"We are Very happy Rocky Producer IRWIN AND MARGO , CHARLES and DAVID and THE ENTIRE EXTENDED FAMILY are staying heathy and very well fed while CONTROLLING All of the ROCKY FILMS FOR ALMOST 50 YEARS!"
"Bon appétit! KeepPunching!"
On social media, many applauded Stallone's terse take on the matter.
But some took a more "it's not personal, it's business" approach to Stallone's posts.
They felt he was overdoing it.
Stallone has spoken out about his rights conflict with Winkler before, calling the situation "shocking" and saying it made him "furious" back in 2019.
For his part, Winkler said at the time he was surprised to hear of Stallone's dissatisfaction with their deal, pointing out the money Stallone has made from his acting, writing and producing deals on the films.