Robert Downey Jr. Embarks On 'The Voyage Of Doctor Doolittle'

Doctor Doolittle is back. No no, don't worry, there aren't more of those awful Eddie Murphy comedies coming. But the franchise is definitely back and being carried by none other than Robert Downey Jr., who knows a thing or two about long-running franchises. What may surprise you is the guy who will be directing them.

Downey will star in The Voyage of Doctor Doolittle, which sounds like it could be an adaptation of Hugh Lofting's second book in the series about an eccentric physician who can communicate with the animals he treats and lives with. There aren't any story details for the film yet, though, but we do know who will be providing it and that's writer/director Stephen Gaghan. Gaghan is coming off the critical dud, Gold. He's also the guy who wrote Traffic and directed Syriana, so this is a weird step for him probably motivated by his last film's public failure.

For years Downey had been trying to get a Pinocchio movie off the ground with little success, and I wouldn't be surprised if this is way of filling that family-friendly niche.  It's worth noting that those awful Eddie Murphy movies, of which he starred in two, made a ton of money and spawned a rack of sequels. Can we expect Downey to do anything less? [THR]