Universal Pictures has released the first trailer for Dolittle, the new adaptation of Hugh Lofting’s stories starring Robert Downey Jr as the man who can speak to animals.

Directed by Stephen Gaghan, Dolittle marks Downey Jr’s first major role since departing the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Tony Stark aka Iron Man.

Universal PicturesYouTube

In this reimagining of the classic story, the film follows the eccentric doctor and veterinarian John Dolittle (RDJ) as he struggles to come to terms with the death of his wife, with only his menagerie of talkative animals to keep him company in his manor.

The official synopsis continues: “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.”

Robert Downey Jr

Downey Jr is joined by Bridget Jones actor Jim Broadbent, Good Omens‘ Michael Sheen and Spy Kids star Antonio Banderas in live-action roles.

Meanwhile, the array of lively animals seen in the trailer are voiced by Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, Tom Holland, Ralph Fiennes, Marion Cotillard, John Cena, Selena Gomez, Carmen Ejogo, Kumail Nanjiani, Octavia Spencer, Craig Robinson and Frances de la Tour

Dolittle, as the movie is now called, is set for a January 17 cinema release.

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