Dolph Lundgren took to social media to “set the record straight” regarding the recent controversy that’s consuming the “Rocky” franchise. Variety reported July 28 that MGM is developing a “Drago” spinoff movie with screenwriter Robert Lawton, an announcement that was later condemned by “Rocky” franchise creator and actor Sylvester Stallone. Lundgren told “Rocky” fans to relax after Stallone spoke out against the film, and he confirmed he is now in touch with Stallone about the potential spinoff after assuming Stallone would be automatically involved.
“Just to set the record straight regarding a possible ‘Drago’ spinoff. 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,” Lundgren wrote. “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.”
Plot details about a “Drago” spinoff have not been revealed, so it was unclear when the project was announced if Lundgren, who debuted as Ivan Drago in “Rocky IV,” or Florian Munteanu, who portrayed Drago’s son Viktor in “Creed II,” would reprise their roles.
“I APOLOGIZE to the FANS, I never wanted ROCKY characters to be exploited by these parasites,” Stallone wrote about the spinoff movie. “By the way, I have nothing but respect for Dolph but I wish HE had told me what was going on behind my back. Keep your REAL friends close.”
It was not the first time in July that Stallone had spoken out about the “Rocky” franchise. He previously condemned producer Irwin Winkler for not giving him any control of the series, writing, “After Irwin controlling ‘Rocky’ for over 47 years, and now ‘Creed’, I really would like to have at least a little [of] what’s left of my rights back, before passing it on to only your children.”
As for the “Drago” movie, Lawton was hired as the film’s writer after impressing MGM executives with his spec script “Becoming Rocky,” about the making of the first “Rocky” film.
“I’m incredibly humbled and grateful for this opportunity, and I’m approaching it as an enormous fan of the ‘Rocky’ franchise, who happens to be a screenwriter,” Lawton said in a statement to Variety.
Ahead of the “Drago” spinoff, the Michael B. Jordan-directed “Creed III” will open in theaters March 3, 2023.