After starring in the highest grossing film of all time this year, Robert Downey Jr. is slumming it with a bunch of animals in Victorian England early next year.
Dolittle puts a new spin on the classic tale of the man known for talking to animals. Looking like a cross between Pirates of the Caribbean, Sherlock Holmes and Life of Pi, the first Dolittle trailer shows off what feels like a haphazard adventure that just so happens to involve Dr. Dolittle. After you watch, you’ll understand why this movie is coming out in January next year.
The movie boasts an all-star voice cast for the animals including Rami Malek as a gorilla, Octavia Spencer as a duck, Kumail Nanjiani as an ostrich, John Cena as a polar bear, Emma Thompson as a parrot, and Marion Cotillard, Frances de la Tour, Carmen Ejogo, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, Tom Holland, and Craig Robinson lending their voices to other animals as well. There are also live-action performances from Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen and Jim Broadbent.
The only problem is that this movie doesn’t highlight that incredible cast very much. Instead, we get Robert Downey Jr. in a series of adventure shots that don’t make any sense, mostly because we’re not really given a good idea of what the story is. Granted, this is a teaser trailer, and those kind of details often come about in the second trailer instead. But even so, this movie doesn’t do anything to make me want to see more.
Stephen Gaghan is directing this one, which makes for an odd change of pace from his previous work on films like Traffic and Syriana. And honestly, this movie feels like a blockbuster bomb waiting to happen. That’s probably not great news for Team Downey, the production banner run by Robert Downey Jr. and his wife, but with all that Avengers and Iron Man money behind them, it probably won’t break the bank.
Here’s the official synopsis for Dolittle:
After losing his wife seven years earlier, the eccentric Dr. John Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr.), 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) 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 (Harry Collett) and a raucous coterie of animal friends, including an anxious gorilla (Rami Malek), an enthusiastic but bird-brained duck (Octavia Spencer), a bickering duo of a cynical ostrich (Kumail Nanjiani) and an upbeat polar bear (John Cena) and a headstrong parrot (Emma Thompson), who serves as Dolittle’s most trusted advisor and confidante.
Dolittle arrives in theaters on January 17, 2020.
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