Two Hollywood stars bailed on one of Disney’s most lucrative film franchises, and it’s reportedly all Disney’s fault.
Over the years, The Walt Disney Company has been responsible for some of the most lucrative film series in Hollywood, and fans don’t have to go too far back in history to find those series, as many of the company’s more recent offerings have gone on to become the most money-making film franchises in the company’s now-100-year history.
Among those are the numerous films that are part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Disney’s Frozen franchise, which includes Frozen (2013), Frozen II (2019), the soon-to-be-released Frozen III (TBD), and several animated shorts, including Frozen Fever and the Disney+ series Olaf Presents, and the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, which includes five Pirates films, though fans are hoping for a sixth, among others.
Pixar Animation Studios has a few wildly successful films and film franchises as well, the most lucrative of which are The Incredibles franchise, which includes The Incredibles and The Incredibles 2, the latter of which is Pixar’s most lucrative film to date with box office revenue of more than $1.24 billion.
But another film produced by Pixar took the box office by storm, even though it isn’t the studio’s most lucrative film. It was so popular following the release of its first installment in 2015 that Pixar began the work of creating a second installment only a few years later.
Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer, Pete Docter is a gifted visionary and animator–but he’s also a dad. And years ago, when his daughter was growing up, Docter took note of the wonder and worry associated with parenthood and watching children grow, change, and even struggle from time to time. So, of course, a CGI-animated film about his observations was only second nature.
In 2015, Pixar released Inside Out at the box office, and it was an instant hit. To date, it is Pixar’s sixth most lucrative film, having amassed a total box office revenue of more than $858 million. The film was so relevant and popular that the second Inside Out film is slated for a theatrical release on June 14, 2024. It also led to Docter co-writing and directing Pixar’s Soul (2020), but that’s another amazing story for another time.
Last week, Pixar released the first teaser trailer for Inside Out 2, and it was so popular that it set a record for The Walt Disney Company, amassing more than 178 million views in 24 hours, making it the most viewed trailer in the company’s history.
But while fans are thrilled about the new film set to debut next summer, a part of the film’s behind-the-scenes story is fairly embarrassing for the Disney Company.
In the first Inside Out film, the cast included Amy Poehler as Joy, Bill Hader as Fear, Mindy Kaling as Disgust, Phyllis Smith as Sadness, and Lewis Black as Anger. But two of the actors declined offers to reprise their roles in Inside Out 2, and now we know why.
Early on in production of the film, it was announced that Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling would not be returning for the second installment of the Inside Out franchise. While it’s not uncommon for actors to decline an invitation for a role reprisal due to conflicting schedules and other reasons, the reason for Hader’s and Kaling’s refusal to return wasn’t immediately known.
Now, however, FandomWire has shared the reason for the actors’ refusal, and it has to do with the “tiny” salaries Pixar offered to them both. According to the outlet, both Hader and Kaling were offered relatively small payouts in exchange for the use of their voices in the film. While actress Amy Poehler was offered millions to return and lend her voice to Joy, Hader and Kaling were each offered only $100,000 to return, and the deal included no bonuses.
The discovery of Disney’s alleged underpayment of actors has now been made public, and the situation is an embarrassment for the company, especially in light of the recent actors’ strike and recently agreed-upon resolution.
If the story from FandomWire is true, fans would be hard-pressed to blame Bill Hader or Mindy Kaling for their decision to let Fear and Disgust find new voices.