Universal Pictures has moved up its untitled “Doctor Dolittle” pic from May 24, 2019 to Apr. 12, 2019. The move is likely being made to avoid “Star Wars: Episode IX”, which Disney recently announced would also be opening that weekend.
Universal recently won a bidding war for the new “Doctor Dolittle” that has Robert Downey Jr. attached to star and Stephen Gaghan on board to write and direct.
The film will be produced by Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum under their Roth/Kirschenbaum Films (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Maleficent”), along with Susan Downey (“Sherlock Holmes” films, “The Judge”) for Team Downey. Gaghan wrote the most recent draft of the screenplay from an earlier draft by Tom Shepherd.
The project is based on the 1920s tales by Hugh Lofting, following a peculiar doctor who can speak with animals, shunning human patients in favor of the critters. The release date news comes two days before Universal’s CinemaCon presentation, where the studio will tout its upcoming release slate to exhibition industry professionals in Las Vegas.
That second weekend in April has already proven to be a worthwhile one for Universal with “Fate of the Furious” opening on the same weekend this year and crushing box office records with $967 million worldwide so far.