The Weinstein Company has gone nuts, squirreling away rights for much of the world to toon sequel The Nut Job 2. The deal includes all global territories except U.S. — where Open Road will distribute the pic — China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. TWC will sell the pic at the Cannes Film Market this month.
Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph, Gabriel Iglesias and Jeff Dunham are reprising their voice roles for the follow-up, joined by franchise rookies including Bobby Moynihan and Bobby Cannavale. The sequel returns to Oakton, where the evil mayor decides to bulldoze Liberty Park and build a dangerous amusement park in its place. Surly Squirrel (Arnett) and his ragtag group of animal friends band together to save their home, defeat the mayor and take back the park. Cal Brunker is directing a script he co-wrote with Scott Bindley and Bob Barlen.
Harry Linden and Barlen are producing the pic from Redrover, ToonBox Entertainment and Gulfstream Pictures. The Nut Job 2 deal was negotiated by David Glasser, Ennis Hensley and Michal Podell Steinberg for TWC with Jay Ahn, Hyunjee Heather Lim and Susan Zuckerman Williams on behalf of Redrover.
The Nut Job hoarded $121 million worldwide in 2014 after setting the record for the biggest opening weekend for an independent animated film.