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Then came a 1967 musical movie starring Rex Harrison, followed most famously by a pair of Eddie Murphy movies in 1998 and 2001.

Robert Downey Jr is set to play Doctor Dolittle in a new film based on the Hugh Lofting character. The rest of the cast and crew details will be out soon.

Gaghan directed this year's Gold with Matthew McConaughey, and previously directed Syriana with George Clooney and Matt Damon.

Robert Downey Jr's linguistic skills are in for a boost as he gears up for his latest role. The title of the film appears to be a variation on the title of the second Dr. Dolittle book, The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle, which was published all the way back in 1922. An early draft of the movie was written by Tom Shepherd, and Academy Award-winner Stephen Gaghan will be re-writing the original script and directing the film.

Naturally, Robert Downey Jr.is also set to star in Marvel's blockbuster extravaganza Avengers: Infinity War, which is now in production. The film will be produced by Joe Roth, Jeff Kirschenbaum and Susan Downey. Pictured: Downey accepts the award for Favorite Action Movie Actor at the People's Choice Awards 2017 in Los Angeles on January 18, 2017.

Although the announcement was only made this week, the character of Doctor Dolittle seems like the flawless fit for #RobertDowneyJr., who is obviously a big animal lover, frequently posting photos of himself with animals (or even in animal-themed costumes!). Should the new Dr. Dolittle succeed, that will be the third franchise for Marvel's roaster-in-chief (following Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes).