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Robert Downey Jr. to talk to the animals in new Doctor Dolittle movie

(Photo: Getty Images/FilmMagic, Jason LaVeris)
(Photo: Getty Images/FilmMagic, Jason LaVeris)

Evidently jealous of his friends in The Avengers who actually have superpowers, Robert Downey Jr. has signed on to star in The Voyage Of Doctor Dolittle, a reboot of the classic character created by author Hugh Lofting in the 1920s. Rex Harrison starred in a 1967 movie version of the story that won a couple Oscars, and Eddie Murphy starred in a reboot and its sequel in 1998 and 2001. And this new movie will, presumably, be another total reboot that’s designed to reintroduce the “guy who talks to animals” story to a new generation.

This news comes from Variety, which adds that Gold director Stephen Gaghan will direct from his own screenplay. Gaghan previously wrote both Traffic and Syriana, and he won an Emmy for his work on NYPD Blue, so this sounds like a weirdly prestigious lineup for a Doctor Doolittle movie, but that probably doesn’t mean that this will be a hard-edged, serious take on the subject matter. After all, everybody needs to make a movie they can show to their kids from time to time.

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