Robert Downey Jr. becomes animal whisperer Dr. Dolittle

Hold on to your (talking) horses because the new Dr. Dolittle movie is not for the faint of heart. The official trailer for Dolittle, starring Robert Downey Jr. in his first post-Marvel role, dropped on Sunday and revealed that this film is going in a decidedly different direction than the Dr. Dolittle franchise from the 1990s starring Eddie Murphy. The trailer gives a grand introduction to Dr. Dolittle and his animal companions, from an anxious gorilla (voiced by Rami Malek) to a scatterbrained duck (Octavia Spencer) to a stubborn parrot (Emma Thompson). It also gives a glimpse of the “perilous journey” they must embark on together, as Dolittle puts it. The trailer depicts an epic tropical universe chockfull of exotic talking animals from polar bears to parrots. Downey stars as the titular Dolittle, the doctor from Hugh Lofting’s beloved children’s book who can talk to animals, and his mission is … well, unclear. Some of the animals, like the polar bear and parrot, seem to be his friends, yet others, like a menacing tiger who threatens to eat Dolittle for lunch, appear to be his foes. Is Dolittle trying to protect the animals or destroy the animals? The film—which has been in development since 2017 boasts among its animal cast John Cena as a polar bear, Marion Cotillard as a fox, Ralph Fiennes as a tiger, Selena Gomez as a giraffe, Downey’s Avengers co-star Tom Holland as a dog, Kumail Nanjiani as an ostrich, Craig Robinson as a mouse, and Emma Thompson as Dolittle’s parrot companion, Polynesia. It also stars Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen and Jim Broadbent. Dolittle – renamed from its previous title, The Voyage Of Doctor Dolittle – will arrive in theatres in the US January 17, 2020, and the UK the following month.

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