Sylvester Stallone Approves Of 'Chuck'?

by Kayleigh Hughes
IFC Film

There are a lot of layers to the new wrestling biopic Chuck. The film tells the story of Chuck Wepner, who was well-known for boxing Muhammed Ali and was the inspiration for Sylvester Stallone's character in Rocky. In Chuck, the focus is squarely on Wepner (Liev Schreiber) and follows him throughout his life, but, the character of Stallone (played by Morgan Spector) does show up in the movie. With a version of the actor in the film, what Sylvester Stallone thinks of Chuck might be of curiosity — and fans will be pleased to know that he seems to have been totally supportive. (Stallone declined to comment on the film when Bustle reached out.)

Despite the fact that Stallone was sued by Wepner in 2003 for using his story for Rocky — he ultimately settled for an undisclosed amount of money in 2006, according to Forbes — it seems that he has been a good spirit about Wepner's tale being told on the big screen. In an interview with Deadline, Chuck producer Mike Tollin said that Stallone was "supportive" of everyone involved, reading the script and even showing up on set. "He and Liev had positive dialogue during shooting,” Tollin said.

Schreiber echoed that positive sentiment and more in an interview with Variety, in which he called Stallone "insanely generous" and explained that the actor spoke in depth with him about his life and his experiences making Rocky. "I had some fantastic conversations with him about that point in his life when he was writing Rocky," Schreiber said. "For me it really illuminated the success of that franchise. The risks he took, and his identifying artistically with that quality of a fighter..."

It's common for notable figures to demand a significant fee in order to allow their personas to be used in film, but Schreiber told Variety that Stallone even gave Chuck's filmmakers the rights to use his persona for free, though Schreiber insists that that generosity was just the frosting on the cake. "The real value," he said, "was his personal perspective. His take on Chuck and on himself, because I think that’s really at the core of one aspect of this movie."

While there may have been some complex dynamics between Wepner and Stallone through the years, it seems that the two both gladly participated in the making of Chuck.