Selena Gomez makes headlines with just about everything she does, so it’s no wonder she’s been added to the all-star cast of Doctor Dolittle.
The family film, properly titled, The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, is due to be released on April 12, 2019. Gomez will star as a voice of one of the many animals, befriended by Dr. John Dolittle, played by Robert Downey Jr.
The film also marks somewhat of an Avengers reunion. Downey Jr, known for his portrayal of Iron Man, will be reunited with Tom Holland, who plays Spider-Man. Holland will also star as an animal in a voice role.
Other big stars of the film include Antonio Banderas, who is reportedly playing a live-action pirate. Critically acclaimed actor, Ralph Fiennes, aka Voldemort, will also lend his voice. Then there’s two-time Academy award winner, Emma Thompson, who recently voiced the famous Mrs. Potts, in the live-action reboot of Beauty and the Beast. Dolittle is rumored to be shot in a similar style as Beauty and the Beast, with real-life actors interacting with computer-generated animals.
Expect this family film to have a slightly darker tone though. The movie will be directed by Stephen Gaghan, who also wrote the script. So far, the Oscar winner has penned some gritty and controversial movies including Traffic, and Syriana.
The story of Dr. Dolittle is no stranger to controversy. The original tale was written by Hugh Lofting, and first published in 1920 as The Story of Doctor Dolittle, Being the History of His Peculiar Life at Home and Astonishing Adventures in Foreign Parts. The book, and the series that followed were banned from schools for their over-the-top racist themes. In one book, an African prince wants to become white, so he can marry Sleeping Beauty and Dr. Dolittle helps him out by bleaching his skin. Yikes. There was also certain racist terminology used throughout the series that has since been deleted for later editions.
Such controversy has not diminished Dolittle’s overall appeal, however. Countless radio series, TV episodes, and films have been produced over the years. The most popular examples are the blockbuster 1967 musical, Dr. Dolittle, and the 1998 comedy, of the same name, starring Eddie Murphy. Eddie followed up with Dr. Dolittle 2, in 2001.