Dolittle, in an odd year for movies, is going to go down as a historically big bomb. This was supposed to be Robert Downey Jr.'s next big thing after Avengers: Endgame. Unfortunately, that's not how things worked out in the end. But it wasn't for a lack of trying. To that point, Seth Rogen (Pineapple Express, This is the End) was brought in to try and help with rewrites. This is something that had previously been reported but has now been confirmed by the man himself.
Seth Rogen is currently promoting his new movie, An American Pickle, which arrives on HBO Max next week. While making the press rounds, he popped by Howard Stern's Sirius XM show. Stern asked Rogen if he had ever gone in to try and help out a movie. That's when the filmmaker revealed that he did indeed step in for some rewrites on Dolittle. Here's what he had to say about it.
"I will only say this because it's been reported, and I'm gonna tread lightly because I am close with many of the people involved, but I did that on the Dr. Dolittle film a little bit."
Boasting an A-list cast led by RDJ, which includes the likes of Tom Holland, Octavia Spencer, Emma Thompson, John Cena and Rami Malek, Dolittle seemingly had a lot going for it. Directed by Stephen Gaghan, the idea was to create a massive fantasy/adventure out of Hugh Lofting's enduring literary figure. Unfortunately for those involved, particularly Universal Pictures, it proved to be a disaster of epic proportions.
The radio host then prodded a little further. Not so much for the juicy, specific details. Instead, Howard Stern simply wanted to know if doing a rewrite like that is enjoyable because Seth Rogen doesn't necessarily have any stock in the project.
"In the grand scale of positions to be in as a writer, it's a cushy position to be in [laughs]. Stakes are low for you, personally. Which is nice. But it's also like, you want to help. I like movies and I like the actors in that movie. I don't want anyone to not be happy with a movie. Universal, who made that movie, has been very supportive of me in my career and made a lot of our movies. I like the people who were there, so I genuinely want to make things better if I can."
Despite Seth Rogen's best intentions, things didn't pan out. Dolittle is, no matter how one wants to look at it, a huge bomb. The movie was savaged by critics upon its arrival and, to date, has earned $231 million at the global box office. While that sounds like a lot, the project came with a massive $175 million budget. It has been pulling in money from China recently after its delayed release, but the numbers aren't going to be nearly enough to save it from being a flop. You can check out the full interview clip from The Howard Stern Show YouTube channel.