Robert Downey Jr. becomes animal whisperer Dr. Dolittle – watch the ‘Dolittle’ trailer

‘Dolittle’ also stars Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen and more

The first trailer for Dolittle, starring Robert Downey Jr. as the eponymous hero who can talk to animals, has been released.

The trailer gives a grand introduction to Dr. Dolittle and his animal companions, from an anxious gorilla (voiced by Rami Malek) to a scatterbrained duck (Octavia Spencer) to a stubborn parrot (Emma Thompson). It also gives a glimpse of the “perilous journey” they must embark on together, as Dolittle puts it.

Watch the trailer for the Universal Pictures production, soundtracked by Canadian band Reuben and the Dark’s rendition of Louis Armstrong’s ‘What A Wonderful World’:

Downey Jr. – best known as Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – is the latest to play the animal-whispering doctor, following Eddie Murphy’s famous turn as a modern version of Dolittle in the 1998 comedy Dr. Dolittle and its 2001 sequel. Dolittle was the creation of Hugh Lofting, who introduced the character in the 1920 children’s book The Story Of Doctor Dolittle.

The 2020 film goes back to Victorian times to tell the story of the eccentric doctor, who after losing his wife seven years earlier, “hermits himself away behind the high walls of Dolittle Manor with only his menagerie of exotic animals for company,” the official Dolittle synopsis reads.

“But when the young queen falls gravely ill, a reluctant Dolittle is forced to set sail on an epic adventure to a mythical island in search of a cure, regaining his wit and courage as he crosses old adversaries and discovers wondrous creatures.” See the poster below:

Dolittle – renamed from its previous title, The Voyage Of Doctor Dolittle – will arrive in theatres in the US January 17, 2020, and the UK the following month. It also stars Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen and Jim Broadbent, and will feature voice performances from Kumail Nanjiani, John Cena, Marion Cotillard, Frances de la Tour, Carmen Ejogo, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, Tom Holland and Craig Robinson.