This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 24, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY HOST:  In the "Back of the Book" segment tonight, Rocky times in Hollywood. In 1976, the movie "Rocky," starring Sylvester Stallone, won the best picture Oscar (search) and propelled Stallone to super stardom.

Subsequently, there have been four other "Rocky" movies, all of which made tons of dough.  In fact, it's estimated that MGM has raked in almost $2 billion from this franchise.

Now, Mr. Stallone would like to make "Rocky VI," but the movie studio is frustrating him.

He joins us now from Los Angeles, where he has filed a lawsuit against MGM.

And the lawsuit says, what, Mr. Stallone?

STALLONE:  Well, thank you, Bill, for having me on.  It said this, basically, that they really don't want to make it in such a way that it's become very personal and egocentric and has nothing to do with good business sense or just ethical partnerships.

O'REILLY:  Yes, it is personal.  They gave us a statement late this afternoon.  It says that Stallone's lawsuit is "sad, desperate, pathetic" and without merit.

STALLON:E:  Maybe.  And that's the way the negotiations have been going, which is sad.

Because what would have happened originally, I was in Las Vegas two years ago.  And Kirk Kerkorian (search), who owns MGM, said why don't you do another "Rocky"?  So I said fine.

He says -- said call by -- the man who runs the studio, Alex Yemanagian (ph), and tell him.  So I did.  And he goes, "Why are you going over my head?"

I said, "I didn't go over your head."  Your boss came to me and said would you like to do this? I said sure, I would love to do it.

And from that point on, he had said to one of my agents, no one ever lords over him.  And I knew from that point on...

O'REILLY:  You were in trouble.  But Kerkorian, the big shot here, could solve this in a heartbeat by saying, "We want to do the movie, I'm the guy.  And we're going to do that."  But he hasn't done that.

STALLONE:  No, no.  He really didn't want to step up at all.  But we still came through with the script, and they wanted to make the script.

But all of the sudden, one of the producers, Irvin Winkler (ph), who I hadn't heard of in three years, said, "I have veto rights."

And I went, "Why would you want to do this, Irvin?  I mean, we've done 25 years worth of these films.  Why would you veto it?  I didn't do anything to you."

And I couldn't get through to him for, like, nine months.  When I finally did get through to him, he told.   Christopher Gerck (ph), who is one of the presidents of the studio, over his dead body would this ever be made unless his son directs it.

O'REILLY:  You know, I don't understand any of this, because it would be a moneymaker.  You could bring it in, if you deferred some salary on it, which I'm sure you would.

You could bring in $20 million or so and just foreign rights alone would find the -- But this reinforce what is we all think about Hollywood, Mr. Stallone, that it's full of egotistical weasels, who you have to kiss their butts to get anything done.  And if you cross them or even if they think you crossed them, they go out for revenge.

So your lawsuit, whether it has merit or not, I don't know, just reinforces what a jungle Hollywood is.

STALLONE:  Hollywood is a tough place.  But there are really a lot of very good, ethical, wonderful filmmakers out here, and they do play straight.

And I've had some incredibly wonderful relationships with them and successful ones.  This one is the odd one because I have been close to Irvin Winkler (search) for -- I got married at his house.  I mean, I was a keynote speaker when he got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (search).

And for him to just turn his back on me, I never understood it.  His partner is a great guy who's also been basically ignored by MGM.  And I just wish that the whole -- see, the Rocky saga, I had a completion to it and I really had a vision for it.

And I thought that it was full of merit, and I said if MGM, if you don't want to do it, three other studios would put up the money and they would do it.  And I said, great, you guys can share in the profit and the MGM shareholders would also make a profit.

But they literally have made it so difficult that no one can make any money and basically killed -- killed off Rocky.  And I just thought, you know, in the tradition of the character, I think it would be terrible to at least not try to go down without a fight.

O'REILLY:  Are you worried that this will blackball you in Hollywood?  You know how those people, if you cause trouble and all of that.  Are you worried about all of that?

STALLONE:  No.  Because like I said, the studios, there's a lot of great personnel.

This is just a situation where I think if you don't speak up, you have to live in this kind of, like, terrible silence, knowing that you didn't defend what you know is ethically right.

And I really do in my heart want to complete this series for my own personal reasons and for the people that have been so true to the character all these years.  And I just want to give it a fighting chance.  And if I don't, Bill, I think I would regret it my whole life.

O'REILLY:  All right.  Well, we will follow the case, and we appreciate you coming on to tell us about it.  MGM, of course, welcome if they want to, also but they just issued a statement.  I think that's where it will lie.

Mr. Stallone, thanks very much and good luck to you.

STALLONE:  Thank you very much.

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