Robert Downey Jr. is about to venture into the animal kingdom. EW has confirmed that the Iron Man star’s next project is a new Dr. Dolittle film for Universal, based on the 1920s children’s books by Hugh Lofting.
The film will be called The Voyage of Dr. Dolittle, and though it nearly shares a title with one particular 1922 Lofting book, exact plot details are still under wraps. The central premise (of a human doctor who can talk to animals in their own language) remains intact.
The Voyage of Dr. Dolittle will be directed by Stephen Gaghan, who also wrote the most recent version of the screenplay. Gaghan is an accomplished screenwriter, having won an Oscar for writing Stephen Soderbergh’s Traffic, and most recently directed the Matthew McConaughey-starring Gold.
The Voyage of Dr. Dolittle will be the third film featuring Lofting’s character, after the 1967 musical (starring Rex Harrison) and 1998 reboot (starring Eddie Murphy). Murphy’s version was notably looser with the Lofting source material, and it remains to be seen how faithful the newest adaptation will be.
The Hollywood Reporter was first to report the news.