The official trailer for Robert Downey Jr.'s Dolittle is now online. This will be the first film the actor has starred in since his swan song as Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame, in addition to the first non-MCU movie he's appeared in since 2014's The Judge. Universal spent an estimated $175 million to make the Doctor Dolittle adaptation, in the hope of scoring a sizable hit with families powered by RDJ's star appeal. Unfortunately, there've already been signs of trouble, beginning with Dolittle being delayed from April 2019 to January 2020.
More recently, it was reported the film was undergoing major reshoots, with Chris McKay (The LEGO Batman Movie) writing new material and Jonathan Liebesman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) directing. The reshoots have since been completed, and Dolittle - which was originally known as The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle - seems to be moving forward once again. Its marketing is now fully underway, following the poster release last night.
The Dolittle trailer premiered this morning, ahead of its launch in theaters next weekend. Check it out in the space below.
While the Dolittle trailer is pretty whimsical in tone overall, it still alludes to some of the film's more dramatic aspects. The synopsis confirms that Dolittle picks up seven years after RDJ's "famed doctor and veterinarian of Queen Victoria’s England" lost his wife, as he's called upon to travel to a mythical island in search of a cure for the gravely ill queen (Jessie Buckley). Joining Dolittle on his adventure are characters like Chee-Chee the anxious gorilla and Dolittle's confidante, the "headstrong" parrot Polynesia (voiced by Rami Malek and Emma Thompson, respectively), both of whom are featured prominently in the trailer. In fact, most of the big-name actors listed at the end of the trailer will be voicing animals in the film, with exceptions like Antonio Banderas (seen here playing a character named Rassouli).
Dolittle was directed by Oscar-winner Stephen Gaghan, who's known for his work on grounded crime dramas like Traffic (which he wrote only) and the geopolitical thriller Syriana. The report about Dolittle's reshoots claimed that Gaghan's initial cut was lacking when it came to its comedy and visual effects, which isn't too hard to believe given his lack of experience in both areas. Curiously, the trailer tries really hard to mislead viewers into thinking Dolittle is a Disney film by highlighting the fact that it was produced by Joe Roth (whose previous credits include Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent). It's not a bad strategy, admittedly, but it doesn't do much to quell concerns about the movie being a costly bomb in the making, either.
- Dolittle (2020) release date: Jan 17, 2020