Octavia Spencer, Kumail Nanjiani, John Cena, Selena Gomez, Tom Holland, Emma Thompson, and more will voice talking animals

By Devan Coggan
March 27, 2018 at 04:16 PM EDT
Credit: Tommaso Boddi/WireImage; Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic; Mike Marsland/WireImage

Dolittle (2020 movie)

Robert Downey Jr. has found his menagerie of talking animals.

On Tuesday the actor announced the full voice cast of his upcoming film The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, in which he will play the titular medical professional who can talk to animals.

The cast includes Emma Thompson as a parrot named Polynesia, Selena Gomez as a giraffe named Betsy, Kumail Nanjiani as an ostrich named Plimpton, Ralph Fiennes as a tiger named Barry, Octavia Spencer as a duck named Dab-Dab, Rami Malek as a gorilla named Chee-Chee, Craig Robinson as a mouse named Fleming, Carmen Ejogo as a lioness named Regine, Marion Cotillard as a fox named Tutu, and John Cena as a polar bear named Yoshi.

Downey is also reuniting with his fellow Avenger Tom Holland, who’s playing a dog named Jip, while Frances de la Tour is voicing something called a Ginko-Who-Soars.

Adapted from Hugh Lofting’s 1920s children’s book, The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle will make Downey the third actor to play the doctor on the big screen: Rex Harrison starred in 1967’s Doctor Dolittle, with Eddie Murphy starring in a 1998 reboot. Stephen Gaghan (Syriana, Gold) is directing.

EW spoke to Downey a few weeks ago about shooting Dolittle, and he teased that he’s “having a good time, though I decided to give myself, like, 40 additional challenges, like a Welsh accent — which even Welsh people say is hard to do.”

The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle will hit theaters April 12, 2019.

Dolittle (2020 movie)

No one on board seems to trust that the books' original stories, beloved for generations, could possibly hold 21st-century attention spans — and so they toss it all on that Tilt-a-Whirl, determined to keep spinning till the end.
  • Movie
  • Stephen Gaghan