Writer Sylvestor Stallone wouldn’t sell the script for Rocky for $350,000. He only had $106 in his bank at the time!
Stallone was determined to be the star of the script he created for the movie Rocky. He was so single-minded about starring in Rocky that he refused the large sum of $350,000 offered to him by Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff.
It’s not uncommon for a writer to be protective of his work or for a man to be determined to follow through with a plan; what is crazy is that Stallone was dirt poor at the time. He had a total of $106 in his bank account and didn’t own a car.
He was even trying to sell his dog because he didn’t have the money to feed it any more.
With the $350,000, Stallone could have been very comfortable for a while, and it was guaranteed money! Success wasn’t guaranteed when he decided to act out his own character. Stallone ended up agreeing to not be paid as a writer if he was going to be the main actor.
Winkler and Chartoff were also only able to get one million dollar for the production, when they had hoped to have two million. They ended up spending $1.1 million and mortgaging their houses to pay for the extra $0.1 million. Their gamble paid off because Rocky became the highest grossing film in 1976.