Liam Neeson starrer follows oil rig crew after plane crash

Looking to get in on the Liam Neeson-action game, Open Road Films has nabbed U.S. distribution rights to the star’s newest actioner “The Grey,” from helmer Joe Carnahan (“The A-Team) and Liddell Entertainment.

“The Grey” follows a group of oil-rig bruisers led by Neeson, who fight to survive after their plane crashes in the Alaskan wilderness. Pic also stars Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts, Joe Anderson, James Badge Dale and Nonso Anozie.

Open Road plans to release the film this winter.

After 2009’s “Taken” became a box office sleeper hit, with $145 million domestically, Neeson became a hot action commodity. Though the thesp’s February release, “Unknown,” failed to spark similar enthusiasm, grossing $63.7 million.

“Joe Carnahan has done a phenomenal job of bringing this riveting story of the human condition to life,” said Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg.

Liddell is producing, along with Carnahan, Jules Daly and Ridley Scott. Exec producers are Tony Scott and Jennifer Hilton, as well as Inferno Entertainment’s Marc Butan, Jim Seibel and Bill Johnson.

Open Road, founded earlier this year as a joint venture between AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment Group, will launch its first pic, “Killer Elite,” on Sept. 23. Distrib also acquired distribution rights to “Twilight” author Stephanie Meyer’s “The Host,” with plans to release the pic on March 29, 2013, as well as thriller “Key Man.”

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