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Robert Downey Jr to star in The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle

Iron Man 3

Story by Jack Foley

ROBERT Downey Jr is to play Doctor Dolittle in a new film based on the popular character from the 1920s series of children’s books by Hugh Lofting.

The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle is to be written and directed by Stephen Gaghan, who won an Oscar for his Traffic script and who most recently directed Matthew McConaughey in Gold.

By taking on the role, Downey Jr will follow in the footsteps of Rex Harrison and Eddie Murphy as the physician who lives with a variety of animals that he’s able to talk to.

Doctor Dolittle first hit the bit screen in the 1967 musical Doctor Dolittle, directed by Richard Fleischer. It was written by Leslie Bricusse based on Hugh Lofting’s novels: The Story of Doctor Dolittle, The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle and Doctor Dolittle’s Circus.

The 1967 film was not, ironically, well received at the time but was nominated for an Oscar for best picture and won for best original song and visual effects.

Another Dr Dolittle film was released in 1998, starring Eddie Murphy in the titular role. This one proved to be a massive success and resulted in four sequels, although several went direct-to-video.

Downey Jr was most recently seen as Tony Stark/Iron Man in Captain America: Civil War. He will reprise the role in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War.

As yet, there is no release date for the film. But Universal will distribute after winning a competitive battle for the project.

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