Robert Downey Jr.'s 'The Voyage Of Doctor Dolittle' Adds Kumail Nanjiani, Octavia Spencer, John Cena, And More

Robert Downey Jr. is setting up more potential franchises in which he can star. One of those is a remake of Doctor Dolittle, and now the once-and-future Tony Stark has revealed The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle cast on Twitter. Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley, The Big Sick), Octavia Spencer (The Help, The Shape of Water), John Cena (12 Rounds, Sisters), and more have signed on to voice animals in the new movie, and you can find out their character names and what animals they'll play below.

We already knew Downey would be playing the lead role, an eccentric doctor who can communicate with animals. Antonio Banderas is on board as a pirate named Rassouli, Michael Sheen will be playing a character called Mudfly, and we knew Tom Holland, Selena Gomez, Emma Thompson, and Ralph Fiennes were providing voices for members of the animal kingdom. Today, Downey took to Twitter to reveal the rest of the movie's cast, as well as their character names and animal types:

Now we have a literal picture of who is playing whom. Thompson will play a parrot named Polynesia, Rami Malek will voice Chee-Chee the gorilla, Craig Robinson will voice Fleming the mouse, Carmen Ejogo plays a lioness named Regine, Tom Holland voices Jip the dog, Octavia Spencer voices Dab-Dab the duck, Marion Cotillard will play a fox named Tutu, Ralph Fiennes plays Barry the tiger, Kumail Nanjiani voices an ostrich named Plimpton, John Cena provides the voice of Yoshi the polar bear, Selena Gomez plays Bitsy the giraffe, and Frances De La Tour plays a character named Ginko-Who-Soars.

If you saw Spencer's character name, and like me, were horrified at the idea of a CG duck "dabbing" on the big screen in 2019, fear not: the character Dab-Dab was one of the key members of Dolittle's animal friend group dating all the way back to the original source material from the 1920s. Here's hoping the filmmakers can show a little restraint.

Stephen Gaghan (Syriana, Gold) is writing and directing The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, which Universal hopes will be the first in a franchise. The story is based on the popular children's book series by author Hugh Lofting, which was previously adapted for the screen in a 1967 musical starring Rex Harrison and in a series of films starring Eddie Murphy in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The second book in the series, The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, was published in 1922 and takes place almost twenty years after the events of the first book.The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle arrives in theaters on April 12, 2019. As The Hollywood Reporter points out, that's just three weeks before Downey and Holland reunite on the big screen in Avengers 4 – assuming, of course, that they both survive next month's Avengers: Infinity War.