Downey Jr to star in new Dr Dolittle

Robert Downey Jr. will grunt, squeak, squawk and talk with the animals in Universal’s upcoming The Voyage Of Doctor Dolittle.

The film will be directed by Stephen Gaghan (Syriana, Gold) based on a screenplay he wrote that had an earlier draft written by Tom Shepherd. Universal won the rights to the film after a competitive battle for the project.

The Voyage Of Doctor Dolittle is based on the character from Hugh Lofting series of children’s books from the 1920s, The Story of Doctor Dolittle, The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle and Doctor Dolittle’s Circus.

The story was first made into a film in 1967 when Richard Fleischer directed the musical Doctor Dolittle starring Rex Harrison. Eddie Murphy played the eccentric former physician in the 1998 Dr. Doolittle and its 2001 sequel, Dr. Dolittle 2.

Robert Downey Jr. was most recently seen as Tony Stark in Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Age of Ultron. He will next be seen as Iron Man in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming. He is also set to be featured in Avengers: Infinity War, which will hit cinemas in 2018.

Gaghan is next scheduled to direct The Division, a film adaptation of the Ubisoft video game. He also wrote the screenplay.Gaghan won an Oscar for his screenplay for Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic. He also wrote and directed Syriana. His last film was Gold, which he wrote and directed, and which starred Matthew McConaughey.

The Voyage Of Doctor Dolittle will be produced by Susan Downey for Team Downey, along with Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum for Roth/Kirschenbaum Films.