If you told us that someone involved with Rocky was going to step in and try to ease tensions between Sylvester Stallone and series producer Irwin Winkler—the former is mad at the latter for refusing to give him any of the Rocky rights—we would’ve guessed literally anyone before Dolph Lundgren. He was Ivan Drago! The bad guy! He should want to break Sylvester Stallone, not make him feel better about the fact that he doesn’t own any part of the film franchise he created!
And yet here we are. Not long after Stallone took to Instagram to complain about reports of a Creed spin-off featuring Lundgren’s Drago and Florian Munteanu’s Viktor Drago, saying that the “PATHETIC” Winkler and his “SELFISH USELESS CHILDREN” were exploiting the Rocky brand and refusing to let him have any say in it (despite him being the one who created Rocky Balboa), Lundgren has stepped in to ask everyone to “relax.”
In a statement (via Variety), Lundgren explained that the Drago spin-off is much earlier along than previous reports had suggested, saying, “there’s no approved script, no deals in place, no director.” He also added that he was “personally under the impression” that Stallone was involved either as a producer “or even as an actor.” He said the press reports earlier were “unfortunate” and that he is “in touch with Mr. Balboa,” so “all the fans can relax.”
So it seems like Lundgren at least won’t let the Drago movie happen without Stallone’s approval or involvement, and while that does nothing to assuage his concerns about the selfish useless children or their eventual inheritance of his character, it is a nice gesture. Unless, of course, it’s just a trick to get Stallone to put on his Rocky shorts and get back in the ring with Lundgren in the Drago movie so he can finally kill the Italian Stallion once and for all. He did refer to Stallone as “Mr. Balboa” in that statement… Don’t fall for it, Rock!