Why Sly Stallone Sued To Stop His Comedy The Good Life Being Released

In 1997 Sylvester Stallone sued the producers behind comedy The Good Life and it has never been released; here’s what happened behind the scenes.

Sylvester Stallone Frank stallone the good life

Here’s why Sylvester Stallone sued to stop the release of his 1997 comedy The Good Life, and why it remains unseen. The Good Life was supposed to be a dark indie comedy infused with crime drama elements, but the story behind the doomed production is juicy enough to warrant a movie itself.

The movie’s plot centered on a trio of golf-obsessed friends who move to Miami from New Jersey and become embroiled in the web of a crime lord played by Dennis Hopper.

Peter Dobson and Andrew Dice Clay (A Star Is Born) are also listed in The Good Life’s main cast, but it was musician-turned aspiring actor Frank Stallone who is the star of the real-life story here.

Frank managed to talk his brother Sylvester into making a brief cameo appearance in the production, but this familial agreement was precisely what ended up causing the friction that would cause the project to be shelved. Even before the legal drama ensued the production was already plagued with issues.

Time schedules weren’t properly discussed, golf clubs and call sheets went missing, union protests temporarily shut it down, and due to an increasingly inflated budget, the shooting location moved to Mexico.

A chunk of The Good Life’s crew – including the director Barry Samson – didn’t make the move. The movie was a co-production between siblings Alan and Diane Mehrez – producers of the Bloodsport sequels and the former of whom became the credited director – and Frank Stallone himself, who all came at vicious odds with each other as production wore on.

The Good Life and the Stallones’ Lawsuit

frank and sylvester stallone

Despite its troubled production, The Good Life did end up being completed and was being shopped around for a distributor when it was finally laid to rest.

As discussed in an article by Little White Lies, the trouble began (or, rather, boiled over) thanks to a promotional clip of Sly Stallone that suggested the actor was going to appear in a much more significant role than he actually was.

This was enough for Sly to file a $20 million lawsuit, equivalent to the actor’s average salary at the time, against the Mehrezes for violating a breach of contract.

The drama didn’t end there and Frank got in on the action, suing the Mehrezes and their production companies a month later. In retaliation, the Mehrezes counter-sued the Stallone brothers for $50 million, moving their case to the federal level in U.S. District Court under racketeering charges. As the situation heated up, things started to get ugly.

Actor Marcus Aurelius (Blade) recorded Frank Stallone during a phone call vowing vengeance against the Mehrezes for terminating his contract, threatening that he would “terminate their company.” The Mehrezes themselves made sure to let it be known in their case that Frank “had few major movie roles and even less talent.”

Throughout the history of Hollywood, there have been countless projects that never saw the light of day, but few stories are as dramatic as The Good Life.

Despite the fact the film actually managed to be completed, the conflict between the Stallones and the Mehrezes seemed so fierce no one has dared to try to release it since.

The Good Life likely would have been a mediocre comedy at best, but it’s now something of a mysterious relic that was brought down by none other than Sylvester Stallone.

 

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