×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Robert Downey Jr. to Star as ‘Doctor Dolittle’ in New Film

Robert Downey Jr. will star in the movie “The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle,” based on the classic character who can talk to animals, for Universal Pictures.

Stephen Gaghan, who most recently directed Matthew McConaughey’s “Gold,” will helm the film from his own screenplay. Tom Shepherd wrote an earlier draft.

The studio, which acquired the project following a heated bidding war, has set up “The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle” with producers Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum through their Roth/Kirschenbaum Films, alongside Susan Downey for Team Downey.

British author Hugh Lofting created the Doctor Dolittle character in the 1920s series of children’s books, in which a Victorian-era physician opts to treat animals instead of humans because he’s able to speak with them.

Lofting’s character was portrayed by Rex Harrison in the 1967 musical “Doctor Dolittle,” which won Oscars for best original song and best visual effects. Eddie Murphy starred in the 1998 film “Doctor Dolittle” and the 2001 sequel, which cumulatively grossed more than $470 million at the worldwide box office.

Downey has starred in the Iron Man, Avengers, and Sherlock Holmes franchises, along with “Tropic Thunder” and “The Judge.” He’ll be seen next in “Spider-Man: Homecoming” as Iron Man.

Gaghan won a best screenplay Academy Award for “Traffic,” and wrote and directed “Syriana.” He also nabbed an Emmy Award for an episode of “NYDP Blue.”

Roth/Kirschenbaum Films’ credits include “Alice in Wonderland,” “Snow White and the Huntsman,” and “Maleficent.” Susan Downey’s credits include the Sherlock Holmes franchise, “The Judge,” and “The Brave One.”

CAA packaged the deal and represents Gaghan, Downey, and Roth/Kirschenbaum. Additionally, Gaghan and Downey are repped by Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller; and Roth/Kirschenbaum by Ziffren Brittenham. Shepherd is represented by WME, Think Tank management, and Jackoway/Tyerman.

More Film

  • FilmNation logo

    FilmNation Promotes Ashley Fox, Brad Zimmerman to SVP of Production (EXCLUSIVE)

    FilmNation Entertainment, the independent studio behind “Arrival” and “Room,” has promoted Ashley Fox and Brad Zimmerman to senior VPs of production. The pair will source and develop material that can be transformed into movies and will oversee film productions on behalf of the company. They will continue to report to Ben Browning, FilmNation’s president of [...]

  • Chinese artist Ai Weiwei poses after

    Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei Accuses 'I Love You, Berlin' Producers of Censorship

    The executive producer of anthology film “Berlin, I Love You” is engaged in a war of words with Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, whose contribution to the movie was left on the cutting-room floor. Ai contends that the segment he shot for “Berlin, I Love You” was axed by the producers for political reasons, out [...]

  • Oscars Nominees Popular Movies

    Oscar Best Picture Race Dominated by Box Office Winners

    This year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ ill-fated popular film Oscar category could have just as easily been dubbed “best picture.” That’s because the crop of movies vying to take home the top prize represents the highest-grossing group of best picture nominees in nearly a decade. The eight films in the category [...]

  • Isabela Moner Marcel Ruiz Rosa Salazar

    Variety Announces 10 Latinxs to Watch 2019

    Variety has announced this year’s 10 Latinxs to Watch, and has also selected the Miami Film Festival as a partner for the annual celebration of promising talent in the Latino community that will include a panel and film screenings. This year’s honorees are Isabela Moner (“Dora the Explorer”), Rosa Salazar (“Alita: Battle Angel,” “Bird Box”), [...]

  • New Regency Launches U.K.-Based International TV

    New Regency Launches International TV Division With Scott Free Alum Ed Rubin

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” co-producer New Regency has launched a London-based international TV division, recruiting former Scott Free exec Ed Rubin to run the new operation and hiring Emma Broughton from The Ink Factory (“The Night Manager”) as head of scripted. New Regency produced “The Revenant,” “12 Years a Slave” and “Birdman.” It recently opened up shop [...]

  • Kate Bosworth'Nona' film premiere, New York,

    Kate Bosworth Helps Launch Campaign for Female Filmmakers

    In her 20-year career in Hollywood, Kate Bosworth has starred in blockbusters like “Superman Returns” as well as indie darlings like 2014’s “Still Alice.” But the actress has always had a desire to get more involved from the ground up. Now, she is partnering with Women In Film and Chloe Wine Collection to launch the [...]

  • Black Panther

    'Black Panther,' 'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Westworld' Among Costume Designers Guild Winners

    “Crazy Rich Asians,” “The Favourite” and “Black Panther” walked away with top honors at the 21st annual Costume Designers Guild Awards Tuesday night, the final industry guild show before the Oscars on Feb. 24. “The Favourite” and “Black Panther” are up for the Oscar this year, along with “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” “Mary Poppins [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content