Open Road Films has released the first trailer for The Nut Job 2, which is set for release on August 18. This animated sequel brings back Surly Squirrel, voiced by Will Arnett, alongside his animal friends Andie (Katherine Heigl), Precious (Maya Rudolph) and Buddy (Tom Kenny) as they fight to save their homeland. There will also be a number of new characters who join the fight in this follow-up to the 2014 surprise hit The Nut Job.
Surly Squirrel (Will Arnett) and the gang are back. We are once again in Oakton where the evil mayor (Bobby Moynihan) has decided to bulldoze Liberty Park and build a dangerous amusement park in its place. Surly and his ragtag group of animal friends band together to save their home, defeat the mayor, and take back the park. It's up to them and the rest of the park animals to stop the mayor, along with his daughter and a mad animal control officer from getting away with his scheme. Open Road Films will now release the sequel in theaters August 18, going up against Lionsgate's The Hitman's Bodyguard, but it was originally slated to debut much earlier.
The original Nut Job movie was an early surprise hit in January 2014, earning $64.2 million domestic and $120 million worldwide from just a $42 million budget, while opening alongside another surprise hit, Ride Along. Open Road Films wasted little time in getting a sequel together, initially announcing a January 15, 2016 release date, which would have, ironically, put it up against Ride Along 2. Last April, Open Road Films pushed the sequel to May 19, 2017, but that date didn't stick for too long, especially after 20th Century Fox pushed Alien: Covenant from August 4 to May 19. Last month, the studio pushed The Nut Job 2 to its current date of August 18.
The supporting voice cast includes returning characters such as Gabriel Iglesias as the groundhog Jimmy and Jeff Dunham as a mole simply named Mole. New voice cast members include Jackie Chan as Mr. Feng, the leader of a terrifying street mouse gang, Isabela Moner, who will first be seen in Transformers: The Last Knight, as Heather, the spoiled daughter of the Oaktown mayor, Bobby Cannavale as Frankie, the mayor's French bulldog and Peter Stormare as Gunther. Sebastian Maniscalco and Kari Wahlgren also voice Jimmy's groundhog siblings Johnny and Jamie, respectively, who were originally voiced by Joe Pingue and Annick Obonsawin in the first movie.
Cal Brunker directs The Nut Job 2 from a script he co-wrote with Bob Barlen and Scott Bindley, based on characters created by Peter Lepeniotis. Cal Brunker made his feature directorial debut with 2013's Escape From Planet Earth, but he previously cut his teeth as a storyboard artist on 9, Despicable Me, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Minions, Ratchet & Clank and last year's animated blockbuster, The Secret Life of Pets. Take a look at the first footage from The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, which could be one of this summer's biggest animated hits.