Liam Neeson is lending his very particular set of skills to “The Nut Job,” an animated comedy about a squirrel who plans to rob a nut store.
Neeson, the Oscar nominee and dramatic actor turned international action star, joins a voice cast that already includes Katherine Heigl, Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Stephen Lang, Sarah Gadon and Jeff Dunham.
“Having the distinguished Liam Neeson lend his talents as the Raccoon villain is the perfect finishing touch,” director Peter Lepeniotis said in a statement. “His contribution fulfills that dramatic need in our comedy adventure. It's an honor working with him.”
Lepeniotis, who worked as an animator on "Toy Story 2" and "Fantasia 2000," is directing the film for ToonBox Entertainment and Redrover Co., which will fully finance the film with its partners. The film is the first for Toronto-based Toonbox, Redrover’s animation studio.
Redrover and Toonbox are also making the film in association with Gulfstream Pictures, the Warner Bros.-based production company of Mike Karz and Bill Bindley. Gulfstream will handle domestic sales.
“Brother Bear” scribe Lorne Cameron wrote the script, an adaptation of the 2005 award-winning short “Surly Squirrel.”
Neeson last appeared in "Taken 2," and is also lending his voice to Warner Bros.' "Lego: The Piece of Resistance."