The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle

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The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle
The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle logo.jpg
Official logo
Directed byStephen Gaghan
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • Stephen Gaghan
  • Thomas Shepherd
Based onDoctor Dolittle
by Hugh Lofting
Music byDanny Elfman[1]
CinematographyGuillermo Navarro
Edited by
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • January 17, 2020 (2020-01-17) (US)
CountryUnited States
Budget$175 million[2]

The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle is an upcoming American fantasy comedy film directed by Stephen Gaghan and written by Gaghan and Thomas Shepherd. It is based on the character Doctor Dolittle created by Hugh Lofting, primarily The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle. Robert Downey Jr. stars as the title character, alongside Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen and Jim Broadbent in live action roles; the voice cast that includes John Cena, Marion Cotillard, Carmen Ejogo, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, Tom Holland, Rami Malek, Kumail Nanjiani, Craig Robinson, Octavia Spencer, Emma Thompson and Frances de la Tour.

The film will be released on January 17, 2020 by Universal Pictures, making it the first film based on Doctor Dolittle to not be distributed by 20th Century Fox.




On March 20, 2017, it was announced that Robert Downey Jr. would star in the feature adaptation of The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle.[3] In December 2017, Harry Collett and Jim Broadbent were cast.[4][5] In February 2018, Antonio Banderas and Michael Sheen were cast in live action roles while Tom Holland, Emma Thompson, Ralph Fiennes, and Selena Gomez were cast to voice animals in the film.[6][7] In March 2018, Kumail Nanjiani, Octavia Spencer, John Cena, Rami Malek, Craig Robinson, Marion Cotillard, Frances de la Tour and Carmen Ejogo joined the voice cast.[8]

Principal production commenced mid-February in 2018. Live action scenes began filming in Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria in May 2018, with further location filming at South Forest, Windsor Great Park and on the Menai Suspension Bridge in North West Wales,[9] in June 2018.

In April 2019, it was reported the film had underwent 21 days of reshoots following poor test screenings. Director Jonathan Liebesman helped to oversee the filming alongside Gaghan while Chris McKay helped write new material, after it became clear from first cuts that the comedy and computer-generated elements of the film were not coming together like the producers had hoped.[2]


The film is scheduled to be released on January 17, 2020 by Universal Pictures.[10] It was initially scheduled to be release on April 12, 2019. However, the film was delayed to May 24, 2019. It was then later pushed back again to its current release date to avoid competition with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which was pushed back to December 2019. [11]


  1. ^ "Danny Elfman to Score 'The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle'". Film Music Reporter. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  2. ^ a b Borys Kit (April 15, 2019). "'Ninja Turtles' Director Jonathan Liebesman Tackling 'Doctor Dolittle' Reshoots (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  3. ^ Ford, Rebecca; Kit, Borys (March 20, 2017). "Robert Downey Jr. to Star in 'The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  4. ^ Kroll, Justin; Kroll, Justin (6 December 2017). "Robert Downey Jr.'s 'Voyage of Doctor Dolittle' Taps 'Dunkirk' Actor Harry Collett (EXCLUSIVE)".
  5. ^ Kroll, Justin (2017-12-12). "Jim Broadbent Joins Robert Downey Jr. in Universal's 'Voyage of Doctor Dolittle' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2018-03-27.
  6. ^ "Tom Holland, Emma Thompson Join Robert Downey Jr. in 'Doctor Dolittle'". The Hollywood Reporter.
  7. ^ "Selena Gomez Joins Robert Downey Jr.'s 'Doctor Dolittle' Movie (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  8. ^ "Robert Downey Jr. Unveils Voice Cast for 'Voyage of Doctor Dolittle'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-03-27.
  9. ^ "Hollywood film crew fixes giant pothole". BBC News. 2018-06-07. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  10. ^ Lang, Brent (October 1, 2018). "'Voyage of Doctor Dolittle' With Robert Downey Jr. Pushed Back to 2020". Variety. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  11. ^ Kit, Borys (April 28, 2017). "Robert Downey Jr.'s 'Doctor Dolittle' Moves Release to Avoid 'Star Wars'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 29, 2017.

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