Robert Downey Jr. is set to play Doctor Dolittle in a new movie from Universal Pictures, and we should all be grateful it’s not Johnny Depp taking over the iconic role from Eddie Murphy.
The studio just won a bidding war for the THE VOYAGE OF DOCTOR DOLITTLE, which Stephen Gaghan (Syriana) will direct from his own screenplay, based on an earlier draft by Tom Shepherd. The script will draw heavily from the 1920s series of children’s books by Hugh Lofting.
Lofting wrote three books about the doctor who claims he an talk to animals — The Story of Doctor Dolittle, The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle and Doctor Dolittle’s Circus.
Rex Harrison starred in the original 1967 musical Doctor Dolittle, which was nominated for Best Picture despite mixed reviews, while Eddie Murphy starred in the 1998 comedy and its 2001 sequel, though he did not return for two additional direct-to-video sequels.
Downey last starred in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Age of Ultron, and he’ll again reprise the role of Tony Stark in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War.
Gaghan, who won an Oscar for writing Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic, wrote and directed Syriana starring George Clooney and Gold starring Matthew McConaughey.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief