Liam Neeson to Voice Villainous Raccoon in 'The Nut Job'

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The Oscar-nominated actor joins Katherine Heigl, Will Arnett and Brendan Fraser in the animated film.

Liam Neeson is getting back into kid-friendly fare.

The Oscar-nominated actor has been tapped to voice a villainous raccoon in the animated film The Nut Job, joining a voice cast that already includes Katherine Heigl, Will Arnett and Brendan Fraser.

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“Having the distinguished Liam Neeson lend his talents as the raccoon villain is the perfect finishing touch,” said director Peter Lepeniotis. “His contribution fulfills that dramatic need in our comedy adventure. It’s an honor working with him.”

The Nut Job is based on Lepeniotis’ 2005 short animation, Surly Squirrel. It is the first joint venture from Canada-based ToonBox Entertainment and Korea-based Redrover Co. Gulfstream Pictures is handling U.S. sales of the film, which is in production with plans for a 2013 release.

Neeson most recently reprised the role of Bryan Mills in the thriller Taken 2 and next stars in Non-Stop with Julianne Moore and The Third Person with Mila Kunis, James Franco and Olivia Wilde. He also lends his voice to the animated Lego: The Piece of Resistance.

Previously, Neeson provided the voice of the wise lion Aslan in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe franchise.