Originally entitled The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, Dolittle is the third incarnation in the Doctor Dolittle big screen series, this time featuring Robert Downey Jr. as Dr. John Dolittle, the physician with the uncanny ability to speak with animals.
The first film, released in 1967, featured Rex Harrison in the title role.
Thirty years later, in 1998, Eddie Murphy talked to the animals.
In Dolittle, Robert Downey Jr. electrifies one of literature’s most enduring characters in a vivid reimagining of the classic tale of the man who could talk to animals.
After losing his wife seven years earlier, the eccentric Dr. John Dolittle (Downey), famed doctor and veterinarian of Queen Victoria’s England, hermits himself away behind the high walls of Dolittle Manor with only his menagerie of exotic animals for company. But when the young queen (Jessie Buckley, Wild Rose) falls gravely ill, a reluctant Dolittle is forced to set sail on an epic adventure to a mythical island in search of a cure, regaining his wit and courage as he crosses old adversaries and discovers wondrous creatures.
The doctor is joined on his quest by a young, self-appointed apprentice (Dunkirk‘s Harry Collett) and a raucous coterie of animal friends, including an anxious gorilla (Oscar winner Rami Malek), an enthusiastic but bird-brained duck (Oscar winner Octavia Spencer), a bickering duo of a cynical ostrich (The Big Sick‘s Kumail Nanjiani) and an upbeat polar bear (John Cena, Bumblebee) and a headstrong parrot (Oscar winner Emma Thompson), who serves as Dolittle‘s most trusted advisor and confidante.
The film also stars Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen (The Queen) and Oscar winner Jim Broadbent and features additional voice performances from Oscar winner Marion Cotillard, Frances de la Tour, Carmen Ejogo, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, Tom Holland, and Craig Robinson.
Stephen Gaghan (Traffic, Syriana) directs from a script that he wrote, based on the 1920s children’s books by Hugh Lofting.