Just one week after Robert Downey Jr. came aboard to star in The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, Universal Pictures has already found a spot for this highly-anticipated project on its release calendar. The studio has set a May 24, 2019 release date for this live-action adaptation, although Universal wasn't the only studio shifting its upcoming slate. Sony Pictures also announced today that it will be pushing its upcoming Baby Driver to Wednesday, June 28, up nearly two months from its original date of August 11.
Sony Pictures made their release date announcement at the CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas today, and while it doesn't have any direct competition on this Wednesday date, it stilll puts this action-packed crime thriller from director Edgar Wright in the midst of some stiff box office competition. Five days before this release, Paramount will debut their highly-anticipated Transformers: The Last Knight on June 23, and two days after the release, it will face Universal's animated comedy sequel Despicable Me 3, along with Warner Bros.' comedy The House, The Weinstein Company's thriller Amityville: The Awakening and Broad Green Pictures' Wish Upon. If it would have stayed in its August 11 date, it would have only had to face Annabelle 2, with far less competition in the weeks before and after that date.
Baby Driver, which had its world premiere at the SXSW Festival this year, follows a talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort), who relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom. The all-star supporting cast includes Jamie Foxx, Lily James, Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez, Jon Bernthal, Sky Ferreira and Flea. Edgar Wright directs Baby Driver from his own original screenplay.
As for The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, it will go up against Warner Bros.' Minecraft on May 24, 2019, with Marvel Studios' Avengers 4 hitting theaters a few weeks earlier on May 3, 2019. Stephen Gaghan (Gold) has signed on direct and write the script, which had an earlier draft written by Tom Shepherd. The story will be based on the series of children's books by Hugh Lofting, which followed the title character who could speak with animals. The book series kicked off in 1920 with Doctor Dolittle, and was followed by The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle in 1922. It wasn't specifically mentioned if this movie will be a direct adaptation of the second novel, or if the film will take elements from several of the books.
The long-running franchise first began on the big screen with the 1967 adaptation Doctor Dolittle, which was nominated for Best Picture, but aside from a short-lived animated series, the franchise laid dormant until Eddie Murphy revived the character in 1998's Doctor Dolittle, which was a big box office hit, earning $144.1 million domestic and $294.4 million worldwide. Eddie Murphy returned for the sequel, Dr. Dolittle 2 in 2001, although it didn't fare quite as well, earning $112.9 million domestic and $176.1 million worldwide, from a $70 million budget. The franchise then went to straight-to-video sequels with Dr. Dolittle 3 debuting in 2006, starring Kyla Pratt, reprising her role from the first two movies as Maya Dolittle, the daughter of Dr. John Dolittle, who also starred in 2008's Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief and 2009's Dr. Dolittle: Million Dollar Mutts.