Open Road Films has acquired all U.S. rights to the 3D animated film The Nut Job and set Jan. 17, 2014 as its release date.
Featuring the voices of Liam Neeson, Katherine Heigl, Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Stephen Lang, Sarah Gadon and Jeff Dunham, the family film is set in fictional Oakton that follows the travails of Surly (Arnett), a mischievous squirrel, and his rat friend Buddy, who plan a nut store heist of outrageous proportions and unwittingly find themselves embroiled in a complicated adventure.
Peter Lepeniotis directed from a screenplay he wrote with Lorne Cameron.
Graham Moloy and WK Jung produced. Executive producers are Mike Karz and Bill Bindley of Gulfstream Pictures and Jay Ahn, Daniel Woo, Hong Kim and Tom Yoon. The Nut Job is a collaboration between ToonBox Entertainment, Redrover Co. and Gulfstream. The film is based on Lepeniotis’ 2005 short film Surly Squirrel.
“The Nut Job is a smart, fresh and funny movie that family members of all ages will certainly enjoy," Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg said. "We are excited about working with Mike Karz and The Nut Job team and thrilled to add this clever family title to Open Road’s growing slate.”
Open Road is a joint venture of AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment Group.
The deal was negotiated on behalf of Open Road by Ortenberg, Elliott Kleinberg and Ben Cotner. Susan Williams and Stephen Zager of Loeb and Loeb negotiated on behalf of Redrover, ToonBox and Gulfstream.
Email: Tatiana.Siegel@THR.com, Twitter: @TatianaSiegel27