×

‘Voyage of Doctor Dolittle’ With Robert Downey Jr. Pushed Back to 2020

Audiences will have to wait a little longer to watch Robert Downey Jr. talk to the animals. “The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle,” the latest cinematic adaptation of the children’s books about a medical professional with some stunning linguistic abilities, will hit theaters on Jan. 17, 2020.

The movie was initially slated to debut on April 12, 2019, but Universal, the studio behind the fantasy adventure, wants to move it to a less competitive time of year. Next spring is packed with big-budget films that will be fighting for younger audiences. Disney’s “Dumbo” also boasts adorable, chatty critters, and Warner Bros. has high hopes for “Shazam!,” its tongue-in-cheek superhero pic.

A January opening could help “Dolittle” find its groove. That gives the movie enough distance from holiday releases such as “Star Wars: Episode IX” and a sequel to “Jumanji” that will also cater to family crowds.

Universal will use the “Dolittle” slot to launch “Little,” a comedy with “Black-ish” star Marsai Martin that was originally intended to debut on Sept. 20, 2019. “Little” sounds like a spin on “13 Going on 30” or “Big.” It centers on a woman who gets to relive her carefree childhood when adulthood gets to be too much to bear.

The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle” is directed by Stephen Gaghan, a filmmaker best known for the far grittier “Traffic.” Its cast includes Antonio Banderas and Michael Sheen, along with a cavalcade of A-list talent voicing animals that boasts Tom Holland, Ralph Fiennes, Emma Thompson, Octavia Spencer, and Kumail Nanjiani.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Disney's MULAN..Mulan (Yifei Liu)..Photo: Film Frame..©

    'Mulan' Is Disney's First Live-Action Remake to Get a PG-13 Rating

    “Mulan” may not be for very young children, as it’s become the first Disney live-action remake to receive a PG-13 rating. The new take on the Disney classic got the rating from the Motion Picture Association of America due to the “sequences of violence” apparently depicted in the film. All previous live-action remakes from the [...]

  • They Call Me Dr. Miami

    Berlin: Cargo Film's Plastic Surgery Doc 'They Call Me Dr. Miami' Unveils Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety can exclusively reveal the trailer for “Playing Hard” director Jean-Simon Chartier’s feature documentary “They Call Me Dr. Miami,” which is being shopped to buyers at the EFM this week. Commissioned by Documentary Channel and set to bow at the Miami International Film Festival next month, the film follows Dr. Michael Salzhauer — also known [...]

  • The Call of the Wild

    Harrison Ford's 'Call of the Wild' Battles 'Sonic the Hedgehog' at Box Office

    “Sonic the Hedgehog” will have to worry about more than just a waxy mustached villain this weekend. Paramount’s family film will face box office competition from another kid-friendly adventure, Disney and 20th Century’s “The Call of the Wild.” Harrison Ford and a dog named Buck star in “The Call of the Wild,” the latest big-screen adaptation [...]

  • The Call of the Wild

    'Call of the Wild' Composer on How Music Became Protagonist Dog's Voice

    Jack London’s “The Call of the Wild” ranks as one of the most famous books about a canine ever written. So director Chris Sanders knew that the composer of his film adaptation simply had to be a dog lover. Luckily, Sanders’ “How to Train Your Dragon” composer, John Powell, has two standard poodles. And when [...]

  • Terms and Conditions

    YouTube Drives Into Feature Doc Space With Brian Hill's 'Terms and Conditions' (EXCLUSIVE)

    YouTube is driving into the feature documentary space with a bold new film on drill music from one of the U.K.’s most celebrated documentarians. The controversial genre represented in the Brian Hill-directed “Terms and Conditions: A U.K. Drill Story” has become inadvertently associated with violence and knife-crime in the U.K., and marks a daring step [...]

  • Jennifer Lawrence Adam McKay

    Jennifer Lawrence to Star in Adam McKay's Netflix Comedy 'Don't Look Up'

    Jennifer Lawrence will star in Adam McKay’s upcoming film “Don’t Look Up,” a comedy set to debut on Netflix later this year. The movie, also written by McKay, follows two low-level astronomers who embark on media tour to warn mankind of an approaching asteroid that will destroy planet Earth. “I’m so thrilled to make this [...]

  • UK Producers Roundtable co-founder Loran Dunn

    Why the U.K.'s Struggling Indie Film Business Is Only Getting Tougher

    A startling one-two punch of new statistics from the British Film Institute and industry body U.K. Producers’ Roundtable have revealed the stark challenges facing the country’s independent filmmakers.  After a BFI study published in late January revealed that spending on U.K. independent film production fell by 45% to £175 million ($228 million) in 2019, a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content