Skip to content
Home » EXCLUSIVE: Sylvester Stallone negotiations for Rocky uncovered

EXCLUSIVE: Sylvester Stallone negotiations for Rocky uncovered

  • by
  • 5 min read

WBN has been emersed in the story of how Sylvester Stallone remains bereft of any monetary rights to the Rocky franchise, despite creating the series.

Stallone’s interview with Variety Magazine in 2019 saw the Hollywood star air his grievances about how he ‘didn’t have even 1% of the profits ($1.65 billion) to leave his family.

Well, according to Stallone’s co-agent at that time, the struggling actor was given a standard deal for that time in 1975.

Craig T. Rumar, who died in 2017, informed their son Chris how the discussions went down. He and his partner Larry Kubik attempted to pitch Stallone’s movie getting made.

Sylvester Stallone

Contrary to what was first reported by WBN, it wasn’t Sylvester Stallone behind the wheel of those high-powered talks with several production companies.

That job fell to Rumar and Kubik, who set about trying to get the 29-year-old the lead role despite the fact he was completely unknown on the big screen.

They managed to do so, with Stallone getting paid for acting and screenwriting the original Rocky, which was a smash hit.

“Mr. Stallone did not directly negotiate with Chartoff-Winkler. Actors do not negotiate with producers in Hollywood; the agents negotiate.

“Through the efforts of my father and Mr. Kubik, Chartoff-Winkler agreed to produce Rocky with United Artists,” Chris Rumar exclusively told World Boxing News.

Taking over directing for Rocky II, Stallone was again paid for his separate jobs, and the rest of the profits went elsewhere.

Craig T. Rumar

Craig Rumar’s wife, Nancy, outlined to WBN that the Rumar family received some money. She assumes she would also have been given in equal measure to Stallone.

“His ex-wife, Sasha, the producers, and Stallone’s royalty checks helped me get through law school,” Nancy exclusively told WBN. “The royalties were supposed to be paid by all three entities in perpetuity.

“Stallone was the first to announce he would no longer honor the contract. I was not in the picture when the contracts were negotiated. But I sure cashed the royalty checks.

“The contract on Rocky I II and III paid Craig.”

She continued: “I was furious when the contract was breached. His agent, my husband, did not want to fight the Hollywood machine anymore. He walked away.

“The lawyer for the agents is still around, Harold Simon. I believe he is in the Valley.

“I should probably clarify that I don’t know if the money Craig received was royalties or agent fees. But they came from the movie’s release and through the 1990s.

“Whether royalties or fees, based on profits. Actors only get profits if they also own some of the movies. At least that’s my understanding.”


Chris picked up the story from post-Rocky I when Stallone and his father ultimately and inevitably parted company on the back of worldwide accolades.

“After the success of Rocky in 1976-1977, Mr. Stallone, while still under contract with FAME, left to be represented by one of Hollywood’s biggest agencies,” Chris pointed out. “This is very common in Hollywood for actors to break contracts with smaller agents and move to more prominent agencies.

“Mr. Stallone was required to pay my father and Mr. Kubik for this breach of contract. FAME was entitled to some of the Rocky royalties.

“I can reveal that Mr. Stallone never paid my father or Mr. Kubik the money he owed, which my father said was more than $200,000.

Craig T. Rumar

“After years of litigation, my father decided it was not worth fighting with Mr. Stallone. He just let the matter go away. My father died not receiving one cent that Mr. Stallone owed him.

“I always asked my father why he never wrote a book about Mr. Stallone and how Rocky was made into a film. Even though my father detested Mr. Stallone for how he treated him, my father always told me a Hollywood agent should never reveal anything about a client, no matter how despicable that client was.

“In the last years of his life, my father maintained this belief and never wrote a tell-all book.

I will be there to counter him in honor of my father and for as long as Mr. Stallone maintains his ridiculous and completely wrong version of how Rocky was made.

“This is the least I can do as my father. After all, his work helped make Mr. Stallone the star he is today,” he concluded.

Rocky rights

Following Rocky III, Sylvester Stallone negotiated better terms for Rocky IV, V, and VI. Despite this, ‘Sly’ still has no overall rights to the brand.

Even the later Creed movies fall under the Rocky banner. They don’t allow any real control for Stallone to speak of.

Some see this as a travesty due to Stallone coming up with the idea in the first place. Although people like Craig T. Rumar, whose involvement goes unnoticed mainly, were instrumental in helping the now-established superstar break down the door in the first place.

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay.