Rushing into production on an $80 million Eddie Murphy sequel apparently wasn’t exciting enough for Twentieth Century Fox. How else to explain hiring Carr, who had helmed only music videos and the comparatively small scale hit ”Next Friday”? ”It’s incredibly weird,” the director admits. ”I thought, I should take this because it has everything I don’t want to work with — a big star, animals, special effects. But I was this big idiot confident guy, and I told the studio that you could learn special effects, but you couldn’t learn to be funny. Cut to two months later, with me going, ‘What the f— is a green screen?”’
Fortunately, Carr felt at home with the screenplay, which tracks Dolittle’s attempts to save a forest by mating a circus bear (Zahn) and a lovely bearette (Kudrow). ”Lisa isn’t interested in me, because I’m an idiot, and she wants a bear who kicks ass,” says Zahn. The challenge of a rushed postproduction — given the daunting amount of special effects in the movie — is kicking Carr’s behind, the director says. ”I’m a stress addict. I’m not happy unless I’m miserable.” Is there a doctor in the house?