Next month sees Robert Downey Jr. reprise his iconic role as Tony Stark / Iron Man for an EIGHTH time in the hugely anticipated superhero epic Avengers: Infinity War.
The fate of his character is not yet known but the Oscar-nominated actor will soon be interacting with animals on his next project when he plays the memorable role of animal-lover Doctor John Dolittle in the upcoming fantasy adventure The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle.
Adapted from the popular novels by Hugh Lofting, the film is being helmed by Stephen Gaghan (Syriana, Gold) though no plot details are known as of yet.
However Downey Jr has recently confirmed that he will be joined by a large and very talented support cast both in live-action and in a vocal capacity.
On the voiceover side of things, Downey Jr’s Marvel co-star Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming) is one of the big names involved as he voices Jip, a Dog. The part of Dolittle’s beloved parrot Polynesia is being provided by Oscar-winning British actress Emma Thompson (Saving Mr Banks, Beauty and the Beast).
Fellow Oscar winners Octavia Spencer (The Help, The Shape of Water) and Marion Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises, Assassin’s Creed) lend their voices to Dab Dab, a Duck and Tutu, a Fox respectively.
Elsewhere, popstar-turned-actress Selena Gomez (The Muppets, Hotel Transylvania trilogy) is another high-profile star cast in the film as she voices Betsy, a Giraffe.
The rest of the exceptional vocal cast includes Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter series, Spectre) as Barry (a Tiger), John Cena (Ferdinand) as Yoshi (a Polar Bear), Rami Malek (Mr. Robot) as Chee Chee (a Gorilla), Kumail Nanjiani (Silcion Valley, The Big Sick) as Plimpton (an Ostrich), Craig Robinson (Hot Tub Time Machine, This is the End) as Fleming (a Mouse), Carmen Ejogo (Selma, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) as Regine (a Lioness) and Frances De La Tour (Hugo, Vicious) as Ginko (who soars).
On the live-action front, Downey Jr. is joined by youngster Harry Collett (Dunkirk) as well as Antonio Banderas (The Mask of Zorro, Shrek series), Michael Sheen (Alice in Wonderland, Twilight series) and Oscar-winner Jim Broadbent (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Paddington 2).
Doctor Dolittle was previously made for the big-screen twice. In 1967, Rex Harrison portrayed the beloved character in a musical adaptation which won two Oscars (Best Special Effects, Best Original Song) but was considered a critical disappointment.
Eddie Murphy then played him twice in Doctor Dolittle (1998) and its 2001 sequel although both films used slapstick comedy which was ridiculed by critics and audiences.
Nevertheless, Downey Jr. will be ‘talking to the animals’ when The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle hits cinemas sometime in 2019.