Open Road Films (The Host, The Grey) has picked up the U.S. distribution rights to ToonBox and Redrover Co.’s 3-D, CG-animated The Nut Job. The family pic, which is directed by Peter Lepeniotis and penned by Lorne Cameron and Lepeniotis, will be released on January 17, 2014. Liam Neeson, Katherine Heigl, Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Stephen Lang, Sarah Gadon and Jeff Dunham are part of the impressive voice cast.
Based on a 2005 short by Lepeniotis (Toy Story 2, Everyone’s Hero), the pic follows the adventures of Surly, a curmudgeon squirrel and his rat friend who plan a nut heist to survive in the big city. It’s produced by Graham Moloy and WK Jung and the exec producers are Mike Karz and Bill Bindley of Gulfstream Pictures, Jay Ahn, Daniel Woo, Hong Kim and Tom Yoon, in a co-production between ToonBox Entertainment, Redrover Co, Ltd. and Gulfstream Pictures.