Henry Winkler, 75, dropped by “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on Thursday and revealed the crucial role he played in helping Sylvester Stallone make the “Rocky” he wanted to make.
“[ABC] liked the script, so I sold them the script,” the Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner recalled. “And I called Sly and said, ‘We sold the script!’ Then ABC called and said, ‘We want to change the writer.’ I then called Sly and said, ‘We sold the script, [but] they want a new writer.’ And he said, ‘Henry, don’t let them do this to me!’ I said, ‘All right. Absolutely.’ I went back to ABC.
“I said, ‘I know this is strange. Here’s the money. I need the script back.’ They said, ‘We don’t do that.’ I said, ‘This time, I am begging you. Please.’ I got the script back. I gave it to Sly and said, ‘It’s all yours.’ And a year later, it turned out to be ‘Rocky’.”
Stallone wrote and starred in “Rocky”, directed by John G. Avildsen. The movie premiered on Dec. 3, 1976, and generated $225 million (equivalent to $1.02 billion in 2020) against a budget of $960,000 (equivalent to $4.37 million in 2020).