Amy Poehler Wants ‘Inside Out’ Series to Be Like Michael Apted’s ‘Up’ Saga, Show Character Riley as ‘a Young Adult, and a Young Mother’ SuperNayr

Is Disney about to have its own “Before” series? Just as Richard Linklater’s day-in-the-life romances touch in on the lives of Celine and Jesse at different points in their lives, Amy Poehler would like to see the “Inside Out” sequels explore main character Riley’s emotions at different stages in her aging. 

“I just think that they should make these films like ‘Seven Up,’ every couple of years in Riley’s life,” she said in an interview with Empire. “A young adult, and a young mother, and I think a middle-aged person — everyone’s having these very distinct new emotions that are showing up all the time.”

UNIVERSAL CITY, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 26: Justin Lin speaks onstage during CTAOP's Night Out on June 26, 2021 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for CTAOP)
'KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES', Proximus Caesar (voice: Kevin Durand), 2024. © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Speaking to IndieWire last month for a sneak peek of “Inside Out 2,” the film’s director Kelsey Mann echoed that idea of “new emotions showing up” being central to how he looked at this new chapter.

“I hated everyone looking at me,” said Mann while reflecting on his own teenage years. “And I think it’s about the new emotions that come up at this age. You’re suddenly self-aware, and you’re extremely self-conscious. You start to look at yourself and see nothing but flaws. I was thinking, ‘Am I really worth all this celebrating?’ That’s what we want to do with this film. And that’s why we think it’s worth telling, and that’s why we think it’s important, especially now. We want teens to look at themselves in the mirror and love what they see, both inside and out.”

Despite this conceit making sense, there’s still always a risk in attempting a sequel, but Poehler has a lot of faith in this series. Speaking on her feelings towards the first film, she said, “I still maintain it’s probably the best film I’ve ever been in.” 

Relating to her character and how she would approach continuing her and Riley’s story, Poehler said, “This is where Joy and I dovetail. You can’t let that fear stop you from action. You have to act. What Joy would say about it — and what I would too — is, ‘What are you going to do? Not make it, because you’re afraid it’s not going to be good? We just have to do it.’” 

Featuring new voices and new emotions from Maya Hawke, Ayo Edebiri, Paul Walter Hauser, and Adèle Exarchopoulos, “Inside Out 2” releases in theaters June 14.

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