Original ‘Rocky’ Producer Talks ‘Rocky Balboa’

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I learned something new today while covering MGM’s upcoming release Home of the Brave directed by Irwin Winkler who was one of the producers on the original Rocky back in 1976. What I learned was that Winkler, along with co-producer Robert Chartoff, mortgaged their own homes to provide the funding for Rocky, a film that went on to earn 10 Oscar nominations and take home three, including Best Director, Best Film Editing and of course Best Picture. So, when offered the chance to talk to Winkler I couldn’t help but ask about the upcoming sixth film in the franchise, Rocky Balboa, due to be released on December 22. While Winkler is not directly involved with the film, that hasn’t kept him from staying close to the production.

Take a read at what was said:

Have you seen Rocky Balboa yet?

Many, many times.

How is it going to compare to the other Rocky films?

I don’t think it is going to compare with Rocky 2, 3, 4 and 5, but it will compare to the original Rocky.

In what way?

It has the same sense of passion and heart, the same sense of being an underdog. The character has aged 30 years, so you see, [it is different from] where usually a character in a sequel gets too old you get a new character… What happens here, you see Rocky 30 years older, just as you see Stallone 30 years old. So, it has a great sense of that same heart and underdog quality that the original had. It’s very, very moving and very honest and I think you’ll like it a lot.

When the idea first came up were you against it, for it or neutral and mildly interested?

I fought with him for 18 years not to make it – I really did. I only gave in when he wrote the script and I thought the script really worked.

You went with Antonio Tarver, a real life boxer.

Yeah, and when you see the film you will see that Stallone looks better than Tarver.

That is going to be tough for the Italian Stallion to pull off, but like the rest of moviegoers I am anxious to see it happen. For more on Rocky Balboa including stills, trailers and more click here.

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Weekend: Sep. 27, 2018, Sep. 30, 2018

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