Los Angeles, Mar 21 (PTI) Actor Robert Downey Jr is set to play the lead role in the new “Doctor Dolittle” movie.

The film titled “The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle” is based on the classic character who can talk to animals, reported Variety.

Stephen Gaghan, who most recently directed Matthew McConaughey’s “Gold,” will helm the film from his own screenplay.

British author Hugh Lofting created the Doctor Dolittle character in the 1920s series of children’s books, in which a Victorian-era physician opts to treat animals instead of humans because he’s able to speak with them.

The character was portrayed by Rex Harrison in the 1967 musical “Doctor Dolittle,” which won Oscars for best original song and best visual effects. Eddie Murphy starred in the 1998 film “Doctor Dolittle” and the 2001 sequel.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.