Universal Pictures has released the first poster for the Robert Downey Jr. led Dolittle movie, which was previously named The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle.
The poster shared on the official Dolittle Twitter account features the Marvel Cinematic Universe star among many furry animals found in nature, with the caption, "He’s just not a people person. #DolittleMovie" The poster has the new title of Dolittle instead of The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle.
The popular children's series follows Doctor Dolittle, who can speak with animals and treats them rather than humans. The books are set in the Victorian-era, the same setting as Sherlock Holmes, whom Downey has also played. There are twelve books in total in the series, with the final books having been published several years after author Hugh Lofting's passing in 1947.
The first Dr. Dolittle film came out in 1967, with Rex Harrison playing the titular doctor. The movie drew from three of Lofting's tales: The Story of Doctor Dolittle, The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, and Doctor Dolittle's Circus. Though it wasn't well-received critically, the film won Academy Awards for Best Original Song and Best Visual Effects, with a nomination for Best Picture. While there was no direct sequel to the movie, Fox remade the film in 1998 with Eddie Murphy playing the title role. Unlike Harrison's Dr. Dolittle, Murphy's iteration was not based on the books, instead only sharing the concept of a doctor who can speak with animals. Murphy's movies were successful, having grossed more than $470 million dollars worldwide during their time in theaters.
The release date for Dolittle was moved around this time last year, from April 12, 2019 to Jan. 17, 2020, pushing it back nine months. The star-studded cast was announced in March of last year, with the cast including fellow MCU stars Tom Holland and Kumail Nanjiani, Beauty and the Beast's Emma Thompson, The Office's Craig Robinson, Mr. Robot's Rami Malek and WWE/The Suicide Squad's John Cena.
Directed by Stephen Gaghan, Dolittle stars Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland, Jim Broadbent, Harry Collett, Emma Thompson, Selena Gomez, Craig Robinson, Rami Malek, Octavia Spencer, Ralph Fiennes, Kumail Nanjiani, John Cena, Antonio Banderas and Michael Sheen. The film is scheduled to hit theaters on Jan. 17, 2020.