Robert Downey Jr. will talk to the animals in “The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, superstar Robert Downey Jr. (The Avengers, Iron ManSherlock Holmes) is taking a crack at a potential new franchise for himself by agreeing to star in The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle for Universal Pictures.

Based on the physician character who can talk to animals from the 1920’s series of children’s books by Hugh Lofting, the family adventure will be directed by Stephen Gaghan (SyrianaGold) from a script he wrote based on an earlier version by Tom Shepherd. The material was previously used for the big-budget 1967 musical movie Doctor Dolittle starring Rex Harrison, as well as the looser contemporary 1998 remake starring Eddie Murphy, which spawned a 2001 sequel Doctor Dolittle 2, as well as several direct-to-video follow-ups starring Kyla Pratt.

Universal won the rights to make The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle after a heated bidding war between studios last week. Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum are producing the film for their Roth/Kirschenbaum Films, alongside Susan Downey for Team Downey.

Downey will next be seen reprising his signature role as Tony Stark/Iron Man in the upcoming Marvel Studios/Sony tentpole Spider-Man: Homecoming, and is currently in the midst of the epic year-long shoot for Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War as well as its sequel.

Is this a good franchise move for Robert Downey Jr? Is Doctor Dolittle franchise worthy for the big screen? If Robert Downey Jr isn’t the right person for the job, is there someone out there who is? What shape would you like for this movie to take?
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