Skip to main content

Robert Downey Jr. might go from Iron Man to Doctor Dolittle

robert downey jr doctor dolittle sunglasses
Featureflash/Shutterstock
Robert Downey Jr. is accustomed to playing a fast-thinking, hard-hitting hero in both the Iron Man and Sherlock franchises, but he’ll be playing a very different sort of protagonist in the next potential film series he’ll star in.

Downey is reportedly set to play the title role in The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle for Universal Pictures. The live-action film — and potential franchise-starting project — is based on Hugh Lofting’s beloved 1920s children’s literature character. Academy Award winner Stephen Gaghan (Syriana) is expected to direct the film from a script he penned.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal won the rights to Doctor Dolittle last week after an intense bidding war with multiple studios. The film is being positioned as the first installment of a new family-friendly franchise for Downey.

Doctor Dolittle famously starred in a series of children’s books penned by Lofting, beginning with 1920’s The Story of Doctor Dolittle. A doctor who prefers animal patients rather than humans, he can speak animals’ languages and uses his talents to help both people and animals in various adventures around the world.

Lofting’s stories were set in early Victorian England, and often centered around the fictional English village of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh where Dolittle lives.

Doctor Dolittle’s adventures were previously brought to the screen in a 1967 musical starring Rex Harrison, and then again in a 1998 film starring Eddie Murphy, which spawned a 2001 sequel that was released theatrically, as well as multiple direct-to-video sequels.

Downey will reprise his role as Marvel Comics hero Iron Man — and his industrialist alter ego Tony Stark — in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming, and then again in the big team-up film Avengers: Infinity War and its sequel.

There’s no word on when The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle will begin production.

Editors' Recommendations

Rick Marshall
A veteran journalist with more than two decades of experience covering local and national news, arts and entertainment, and…
Forget Netflix and chill: This is the best streaming service for binge watching on weekends
Jonah Ray peers out a doorway in Destroy All Neighbors.

Netflix was at the forefront of the streaming boom, so it's only natural that it has become most consumers' go-to streaming service. While Netflix has built a film and TV pipeline over the years that has resulted in a near-constant stream of new originals, its brand identity has only grown increasingly diluted. Its output has become so wide-ranging and uneven that, although it may still be the most popular streaming service, whether or not it holds the title of the best is less clear. The non-curated nature of its new releases and its loss of most of the legacy titles that brought so many subscribers to its platform in the first place have made Netflix a less dependable source for your weekend entertainment than it once was.

So where should you go when you want something new to watch from the comfort of your own home on a quiet Friday or Saturday night — or even a lazy Sunday afternoon? Max, Peacock, Paramount+, and Hulu all have better libraries of classic movies and TV shows than Netflix. However, if you're looking for something new, this writer would argue that the best streaming platform for fresh and reliable weekend entertainment is none other than Shudder.
What you see is what you get (and that's a good thing)

Read more
3 underrated shows on Netflix you need to watch in April 2024
A man holds his arms out in a fighting stance.

New TV shows take center stage this April on Netflix. Ripley, the television adaptation of the famous psychological thriller novel The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith, stars Andrew Scott as con man Tom Ripley. For those looking for a legacy comedy series, Sex and the City, one of HBO's highest-rated series, is now streaming on Netflix. Other shows coming in April include Vikings, I Woke Up A Vampire, and Killing Eve.

If you look past the homepage, though, hundreds of underrated shows are scattered within multiple genres. Below, we have selected three gems to watch in April. Our selections include a terrific martial arts crime drama, an intriguing thriller set in the Florida Keys, and a charming comedy series from Syfy.
Warrior (2019-2023)

Read more
5 sci-fi movies on Netflix you need to watch in April 2024
Jennifer Lawrence crouches to the ground.

April will be a huge month for sci-fi on Netflix with the release of Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver. The film is the second half of Zack Snyder's epic space opera and streams on Netflix on April 19, 2024. Rebel Moon fans will also get to see Snyder's R-rated cut of the movies, similar to how the filmmaker released his "Snyder cut" for The Justice League.

Before Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver arrives, we recommend these five other sci-fi movies that are available to stream on Netflix and deserve your time. Our picks include the first film of a famous young adult trilogy and a multiversal adventure that won Best Picture.
The Hunger Games (2012)

Read more