Robert Downey Jr to play Doctor Dolittle

Universal has landed the rights to the project that Stephen Gaghan wrote and will direct

Universal has landed the rights to the project that Stephen Gaghan wrote and will direct

John Dolittle was born as the star of a dozen children's novels by British author/civil engineer Hugh Lofting.

Doctor Dolittle is a famous name for movie-going audiences, thanks to the 1967 Rex Harrison film and the 90s movies which starred Eddie Murphy.

Downey Jr. will play the titular character in The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, which Universal Pictures just picked up after a competitive bidding war (via The Hollywood Reporter). The rest of the cast and crew details will be out soon.

The film will be directed by Stephen Gaghan who recently directed Gold starring Matthew McConaughey.

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For his next film, Robert Downey Jr.'s super power will be the ability to talk to animals.

The star is set to headline "The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle", a project won in auction by Universal.

Susan Downey (of Team Downey) will be producing the film alongside Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum of Roth/Kirschenbaum Films. It was nominated for best picture and took home the best original song and visual effects award. The actor will be taking on the lead role in The Voyage Of Doctor Dolittle. Should the new Dr. Dolittle succeed, that will be the third franchise for Marvel's roaster-in-chief (following Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes).

Downey is done filming Marvel's Spiderman: Homecoming and is now on set filming Avengers: Infinity War.