When it was first announced that Robert Downey, Jr. would be starring in a remake of Doctor Dolittle, it seemed like a cheap move by a studio looking to milk easy money out of recycling an old classic for the second time (the previous remake being Eddie Murphy‘s late-90s modern update). Suffice it to say, I had my doubts.
Now we have the first trailer for Downey’s Dolittle and, I have to say, I’m legitimately intrigued.
It returns to the Victorian England era of the 1967 Rex Harrison original, but it reimagines that kid-pandering musical into a big, emotional adventure. Yes, it’s still playing to the family crowd, but not in a cutesy grade school sort of way.
The ambition on display is bigger than expected, even if also over-reliant on digital animation, aiming for modern Disney live action fare at its best…even though it’s a Universal Studios release.
There’s enough promise in this trailer to make Downey’s first post-Avengers effort one to anticipate.
Co-starring Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen, Jim Broadbent, and Jessie Buckley (a 2019 breakout actress in Wild Rose and Judy) as Queen Victoria, it also boasts the voice talents of Tom Holland, Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, Octavia Spencer, Kumail Nanjiani, Marion Cotillard, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, Jon Cena, Craig Robinson, and more.
Dolittle opens early next year on January 17, 2020.
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