Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren Are (Still?!) Beefing Like It's 1985
This week, in things you absolutely love to see: Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren are beefing like it's 1985. The Rocky IV stars have disliked each other both on screen and off for nearly four decades now, and they never pull any punches. "We had some good times and bad times," Lundgren told Variety, "kinda like family to some degree." But this family certainly feuds, down to the last bell.
Years after Rocky IV, the two returned to the screen together for the star-studded explosion fest, The Expendables. Stallone directed and starred in the film, with Lundgren appearing as one of his A-list mercenaries. According to Lundgren, Stallone allegedly "was very harsh on me in a scene in The Expendables where he kinda yelled at me in front of the whole crew and had me do about 20 takes on a scene." Harsh. "It was like, My grandmother could do it better than that. What the fuck, what are you doing?,"Lundgren recalled. "You know, basically in front of everybody. And there was press there that day too, international press. We took a lunch break and I remember I was kind of in tears. I was really upset. I called my wife that time and I basically just told her, If he says one more word, I’m gonna knock him out and fuck this movie, I’m outta here. I’m just gonna punch him out and fucking leave."
Fortunately, Sly reportedly apologized and Lundgren chalked it all up to him being a "crazy Italian." Hopefully, Lundgren continued, "he knows that I’ve always respected him and loved him, and I think that’s why we’re still friends." Friends who constantly fight, apparently.
Last year, Variety reported that the Rocky-verse would soon expand with a spinoff centering on Lundgren's Ivan Drago in the works. The report was a somewhat pleasant surprise, since the Creed films have found a new generation of fans who love (fictional) boxing. But, Mr. Balboa got a whiff of the story. In a now-deleted Instagram post, Stallone wrote, “Another Heartbreaker… Just found this out…ONCE AGAIN , PATHETIC 94 year old PRODUCER and HIS SELFISH USELESS CHILDREN are once again picking what is left OFF THE BONES of another wonderful character!!! Seriously, how do you weasels look in mirror???”
I’d like to congratulate Irwin Winkler and family beating another wonderful character into the ground! # no shame https://t.co/dy2TEkqCni
— Sylvester Stallone (@TheSlyStallone) July 30, 2022
Sly, man, easy on the all-caps! We hear you. Stallone doesn't name names, but in another deleted Instagram message (which you can still glimpse on Twitter), he seems to confirm that his target is Rocky producer Irwin Winkler. As the story goes, Winkler took all the rights to the Rocky franchise. "I’d like to congratulate Irwin Winkler and family beating another wonderful character into the ground! #no shame," Stallone wrote. Now, If that wasn't enough Sylvester-Stallone-deleted-Instagram-rant news for you, the man turned to his Rocky IV co-star, with words ripped straight from a canned '80s film script. He wrote, “Dolph, why? Not a phone call?”
Dolph, why? Why, Dolph! Stallone continued, in another (!) deleted Instagram post, "By the way, I once had nothing but respect for Dolph but he NEVER told me about what was going on behind my back with the character I created for him !!! REAL FRIENDS Are more precious than gold.” Well, Dolph told us his side of the story, in a post that is actually still on Instagram. "Just to set the record straight regarding a possible Drago spinoff," Lundgren wrote. "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. 👊"
You heard the man: 👊. Is this the most senseless celebrity beef of the decade? Maybe. I'd put it somewhere between Baby Yoda vs. Gizmo and Doja Cat vs. Noah Schapp. Maybe we should all try being nice to each other. Just a thought.
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