‘Inside Out 2’ Cheaped Out on Mindy Kaling and Bill Hader
Inside the heads of Pixar executives, we imagine that there’s an extra personified emotion running point on the control console: greed.
Eight years after the release of the animated mental health classic Inside Out, the world of big-budget children’s movies looks very different, in large part due to the film’s success. When the Mindy Kaling and Bill Hader-starred movie was released in 2015, it broke new ground for how frankly it addressed mental wellness and the internal challenges that young adults face, but nowadays, you can’t swing an anxious cat without hitting an animated movie in which panic attacks play a central role in the plotline. Now, the perplexingly after-the-fact sequel Inside Out 2 is taking notes from Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and adding Anxiety to the cast of emotions-represented-as-characters that control the mind of young Riley Anderson.
Simultaneously, Pixar made the puzzling casting choice to lowball two of the original film’s biggest stars, and the sequel will continue sans Hader and Kaling after contract negotiations broke down. Where’s Lewis Black to blow up about this boneheaded play?
Rumors that key cast members would be missing from Inside Out 2 began swirling the second the film was officially announced late last year. Back in September 2022, reports emerged claiming that lead Amy Poehler, who plays the first-in-command feeling Joy, agreed to an impressive $5 million fee to appear in the sequel while her co-stars were offered just 2 percent of her salary. While $100,000 is no small potatoes to the average voice actor, the A-listers of Inside Out took umbrage with the lopsided compensation, choosing to sit out instead of accepting a small decimal of what their cast mate was making.
“I had a great time working on Inside Out and am sure Inside Out 2 will be great,” Kaling, who played the fan-favorite Disgust in the first film, told TheWrap the following January, “but I’m not working on it.” Hader, who is coming off of a critically beloved run as the star and showrunner of Barry, hasn’t commented on his absence from the film series in which he previously played Fear, and, as the Inside Out 2 trailer dropped earlier today, we saw who Pixar rounded up to replace the two comedy powerhouses.
In the sequel, Disgust is voiced by The Equalizer star Liza Lapira, while Arrested Development and Veep actor Tony Hale will fittingly play Fear. If the sequel flops and Pixar producers have panic attacks trying to find their next cash grab, maybe they can ask Hale about a certain banana stand.