Following his glorious sendoff at the tail-end of Avengers: Endgame earlier this year, it felt like Robert Downey Jr. could’ve happily stopped his career right then and there. After all, he had successfully staged and completed a career turnaround: going, in a decade’s time, from drug addiction and jail time to one of the most adored faces on and off the big screen.
Maybe that’s why the first trailer for Dolittle felt a little bit more than strange.
While this 2-minute clip may have been the first time many people had ever heard about the project, its foundation traces back a couple of years. Downey and his company, having been attached to the pic in 2017, completed production between February and June 2018, in preparation for a May 2019 release. However, the film went through several weeks of reshoots following poor test screenings and a new director was brought on while writers Stephen Gaghan and Chris McKay from The LEGO Movie were sent in to give the script a boost.
Even after all this coverup, Dolittle was delayed again, pushed back to January 17th, 2020 where it currently sits on the schedule.
With the knowledge that the first month of the year is generally known as a dumping ground for terrible pictures, many RDJ fans have been skeptical about the film, wondering why the 54-year-old actor would decide to dive off Endgame glory into the pool of Dolittle.
Well, now an article from ScreenRant has attempted to synthesize the decision, listing several characteristics of Downey Jr.’s personal and professional life as its main arguments.
The first is that Downey Jr. is a superstar now. Apparently, when asked by Entertainment Weekly Radio back in 2015 whether or not he felt like making a “$500,000 budget indie movie” after working so often on blockbusters, he gave a stark (haha) no.
“Because they’re exhausting and sometimes they suck and then you just go, ‘What was I thinking?’ But I’m interested in doing all different kinds of movies. Sometimes the little movies are the ones that wind up taking the most out of you because they’re like, ‘Hey, man, we’re just running a couple of days behind. Do you think you can stay through your birthday and then come back on the fourth of July? And, by the way, like the crew – can you pay for the craft services?’”
Personally, my tastes lean more towards indie than big budget pictures, so I don’t necessarily agree with Downey Jr. on that topic. But given that he’s climbed all the way to the top from the bottom, I guess I can understand his hesitance to avoid going back “down.”
ScreenRant then makes the points that Doctor Dolittle is a beloved children’s character, whose simple premise has been adapted several times in the past, and given that Downey Jr. has a couple of young kids himself, he may want to make a film that’s more suited for them.
Whatever the reason may be, I’m a bit skeptical about Dolittle. Sorry Robert, love ya, but you’re going to have to prove me wrong on this one.