The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle: Robert Downey Jr. to Star under Stephen Gaghan Helm

Robert Downey Jr. will star in Universal’s The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, based on the classic character who can talk to animals.

Stephen Gaghan, who recently directed Matthew McConaughey’s Gold, will helm the film from his own screenplay; Tom Shepherd wrote an earlier draft.

The studio, which acquired the project following a heated bidding war, has set up the picture with producers Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum, alongside Susan Downey for Team Downey.

British author Hugh Lofting created the Doctor Dolittle character in the 1920s series of children’s books, in which a Victorian-era physician