'The Nut Job,' made as co-production

Animated comedy set for Jan. 17 release

Open Road Films has acquired all U.S. distribution rights to the 3D animated comedy “The Nut Job” and  set a Jan. 17, 2014 as the release date.

The project is a collaboration between ToonBox Entertainment, Redrover Co., Ltd. and Gulfstream Pictures. Producers are Graham Moloy and WK Jung; exec producers are Mike Karz and Bill Bindley of Gulfstream Pictures, Jay Ahn, Daniel Woo, Hong Kim and Tom Yoon.

Characters in the toon are voiced by Liam Neeson, Katherine Heigl, Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Stephen Lang, Sarah Gadon and Jeff Dunham. Peter Lepeniotis directed from a screenplay he co-wrote with Lorne Cameron.

Story centers on a mischievous squirrel (voiced by Arnett) and his rat friend who plan a nut store heist and unwittingly find themselves embroiled in a much more complicated adventure.

The film is based on Lepeniotis’ 2005 short film “Surly Squirrel.”

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