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Dolittle (2020): Everything We Know

November 27, 2019
5 min read

The thing about hope is that it springs eternally. For those with hope, television shows and movie revivals are a blessing. For the more cynical, it means potentially watching a classic make a shift in genre that could go right, but could also go very wrong. That shift in genre is exactly what is being done with the revival of the Doctor Dolittle series in ‘Dolittle’. 

Doctor Dolittle was first viewed by the public in its most popular representation in 1967 as an American DeLuxe Colour Musical film directed by Richard Flescher. This film was an adaptation of the ‘Doctor Dolittle’ novel series by Hugh Lofting back in the 1920s. It was later, in 1998, that the film was adapted into its contemporary form, as Dr. Dolittle. The concept took off as fantasy comedy films were sparse at the time. 

The upcoming film scheduled to release in 2020 has an all-star cast. From what information has been released, it is obvious that it is going to be a fantasy adventure film, and not as lighthearted as its predecessor. 

Dolittle Plot: What is it about?

The personification of the animals in the movie is the comical and emotional highlight of the film. It revolves around Doctor Dolittle’s relationship with his friends, who also happen to be animals. 

The key plot point of all of the Doctor Dolittle movies, series and novels is that the Doctor, contemporary or medieval, has the ability to speak to, and understand animals. Therefore, the story revolves around Doctor Dolittle solving animals’ problems or embarking on adventures with his animal friends and trying to fight for the greater good. 

The plot of ‘Dolittle’ is about the English queen during the 19th century, Queen Victoria who becomes gravely ill. To find an antidote for the disease, Doctor Dolittle and his friends must travel to a mythical island with a challenging path. The story revolves around the trials and tribulations of their journey to help save their beloved Queen. This is a majority of the plot and we must wait and watch in anticipation to find out if they succeed in their endeavor or not. 

Dolittle Cast: Who Is In It? 

The film’s cast is rife with big household names who have never failed to deliver brilliantly in the past. Robert Downey Jr. stars as Dr. Dolittle which is his first non-Marvel movie in five years. He has made the beloved character of Iron Man unbelievably untouchable and it is almost impossible to disassociate him, as an actor, from Iron Man- the fictional superhero. His choice of playing the role of Dr. Dolittle is interesting as he steps away from the MCU and into the life of the eccentric veterinarian who can speak to animals.

Michael Sheen and Antonio Banderas  are seen in live-action roles. The cast gets even more fascinating with Rami Malek playing a gorilla and Emma Thompson playing the role of Dolittle’s closest companion and trusted advisor- a parrot. Rami Malek won an Oscar for his performance in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody‘ and while Emma Thompson earned one for her performance in Howard’s End.

Tom Holland plays Jip, the dog and Selena Gomez lends her voice to Betsy, a giraffe. Tom Holland’s and RDJ’s portrayal of a rather emotional and poignant father-son-like duo in the Marvel movies is indicative of their on-screen chemistry. ‘The Big Sick’’s Kumail Nanjiani appears as an Ostrich who is constantly bickering with a polar bear played by John Cena.

Other Oscar winners who also appear in the film are Octavia Spencer, who plays an enthusiastic duck, Marion Cotillard who plays a fox and Jim Broadbent. Craig Robinson who has portrayed iconic roles such as Darryl Philbin in ‘The Office’ and Doug Judy from Brooklyn Nine-Nine lends his voice to a mouse. With a powerful star-ridden cast, ‘Dolittle’ is definitely worth waiting for.

Dolittle Crew: Who is Behind It? 

The movie is directed by Academy and BAFTA Award winner Stephen Gaghan. His credentials include Oscar-winning dramas like ‘Traffic’ and Syriana. He will remain the credited director, however, he had to bring in several reinforcements to help with the shooting of the anticipated movie. Gaghan also wrote the movie’s screenplay alongside John Whittington. Jonathan Liebesman oversaw the shooting process and Chris McKay was brought in as well. Liebseman directed the ‘Ninja Turtles’ movie and Chris McKay was leading on the ‘Lego Batman Movie’. 

This need for reinforcement was due to the fact that it was apparent that the movie was unfinished in a sense and needed some redoing. Guillermo Navarro is the movie’s cinematographer while Danny Elfman composed the film’s music.

Dolittle Release Date: When Does it Premiere?

‘Dolittle’ is scheduled to release on January 17, 2020. Its UK release is set for February 7, 2020. Although, the release date is much earlier in January in southeast Asia. 

The movie was initially geared for release in May 2019 and after some rescheduling, was finalized for 2020 in a manner typical to animated movies that tend to take longer as directors tend to chase perfection. 

Dolittle Trailer: 

You can have a look at the trailer for ‘Dolittle’ below. The trailer received mostly positive reactions from its audiences, despite it being the first non-MCU movie that Robert Downey Jr. may have done in a while. This has to do with the fact that while Marvel movies are family-friendly, they are meant for a slightly mature audience. However, starring in ‘Dolittle,’ the family-friendly meter is through the roof. The fact that the audience may take a while to get used to the British persona of RDJ with a bunch of furry friends may have unfairly swayed the audience’s opinions.

Read More: Upcoming Robert Downey Jr Movies

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