TORONTO -- An all-star cast of Katherine Heigl, Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Stephen Lang, Sarah Gadon, and comedian Jeff Dunham have signed on to lend their voices for the animated comedy feature The Nut Job, directed by Peter Lepeniotis for ToonBox Entertainment and Redrover Co., Ltd.
Based on the 2005 award-winning comedy short film Surly Squirrel by Disney animation veteran Lepeniotis, The Nut Job marks the Canadian-based ToonBox's first feature film with Korean partner Redrover, in association with Gulfstream Pictures, which is handling U.S. sales.
Fully financed by Redrover and its partners, the film is currently in production with plans for a 2013 release. Additional cast will be announced shortly.
Thom Chapman and Graham Moloy produce. Daniel Woo, Hong Kim, Mike Karz, and Tom Yoon executive produce, in association with Gulfstream, headed by Karz and Bill Bindley.
"We couldn't be more pleased with the cast that's being assembled for our first feature," said Chapman, ToonBox vice president. "They have brought the film to a whole new level. Each voice is perfect for their respective roles, and they truly make the characters come alive."
Written by veteran Disney animation screenwriter and Canadian Lorne Cameron (Brother Bear, Over the Hedge), The Nut Job is an action-packed comedy grounded in the late 1950s in fictional Oakton that follows the travails of Surly, a mischievous squirrel, and his rat friend Buddy, who plan a nut store heist of outrageous proportions and unwittingly find themselves embroiled in a much more complicated and hilarious adventure.
Katherine Heigl, a two-time Golden Globe nominee and Emmy-winning actress for Grey's Anatomy, starred in New Year's Eve, Knocked Up, 27 Dresses and The Ugly Truth. She next stars in The Big Wedding with Robert De Niro and Robin Williams.
Will Arnett, a five-time Emmy nominee best known for his roles on NBC's Up All Night, IFC's The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, Fox's Arrested Development and NBC's 30 Rock, also had starring turns in Men in Black 3, Despicable Me, Blades of Glory and When in Rome. His next film is the animated Lego: The Piece of Resistance.
Brendan Fraser, who won a SAG Award for his role in the film Crash, starred in the hit franchise The Mummy, Extraordinary Measures and Bedazzled. He will next be seen starring in Gimme Shelter with Vanessa Hudgens and Rosario Dawson, and in Pawn Shop Chronicles with Elijah Wood and Matt Dillon.
Stephen Lang recently starred in FOX's Terra Nova as well as the films Conan the Barbarian, Avatar, White Irish Drinkers, Public Enemies and The Men Who Stare At Goats. He will next be seen in the dramas Backmask, 23 Blast, Officer Down and Pawn.
Canadian Sarah Gadon has had roles in David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method and Cosmopolis, and has guest starred in a number of TV series. She will next be seen in An Enemy with Jake Gyllenhaal, and in Belle with Emily Watson and Tom Wilkinson.
Jeff Dunham is the top-grossing touring comedian in North America, and a leading act in the world. His A Very Special Christmas Special was the most-watched telecast in Comedy Central history, and combined sales for all his DVDs near 8 million. He last appeared on screen in the Steve Carell comedy Dinner for Schmucks.
Lepeniotis has worked with Pixar Animation Studios and Industrial Light & Magic and as an animator on hit films Fantasia 2000 and Toy Story 2. His short Surly Squirrel was awarded Siggraph's 2005 People's Choice Award for Best Animated Film, Palm Spring's 2005 Audience Best Animation Award and Ottawa's Animation Festival NFB Audience Award for Best Animation. His first project with ToonBox was the animated TV series Bolt's & Blip.
Heigl, Fraser and Dunham are represented by Creative Artists Agency. Arnett is repped by William Morris Agency, Gadon by WMA and Dani De Lio of Creative Drive Artists in Canada, and Lang by Innovate Artists.
Source: ToonBox Entertainment