Robert Downey Jr. is remembering the beast of a “missed opportunity” behind the 2020 film “Dolittle.”
The ‘Oppenheimer’ actor revealed a The New York Times magazine who sees “Dolittle” as one of the most important films of his career because of the lesson it taught him. Downey credited the complicated production behind the Disney box office flop for helping reset his priorities both on and off screen.
“I ended my contract with Marvel and then rushed into what had all the promise of being another potential big, fun, well-crafted franchise in ‘Dolittle,’” said Downey. “I had reservations. My team and I seemed a little too enthusiastic about the deal and not enthusiastic enough about the merits of the execution. But by then I was bulletproof. I was the guru of all genre films.
He continued: “The stress it put on my lady (producer Susan Downey) as she rolled up her sleeves up to her armpits to make him worthwhile enough to bring to market was shocking. After that point, what is that sentence? Never let a good crisis go to waste? – we reset priorities and made some changes to who our closest business advisers were.
Downey and wife Susan produced “Dolittle” under their Team Downey Productions banner. David Ehrlich of IndieWire called the film a “$175 million train wreck”. Yet Downey has called ‘Dolittle’ one of the most important films of his career, along with ‘The Shaggy Dog’ which helped him return to Hollywood in 2006 after his infamous substance abuse.
“Honestly, the two biggest movies I’ve done in the last 25 years are ‘The Shaggy Dog,’ because that was the movie that made Disney say they were going to assure me,” Downey said. “Then the second biggest movie was ‘Dolittle,’ because ‘Dolittle’ was a wound of two and a half years of wasted opportunity.”
During the extensive NYT interview, Downey noted that the documentary “Sr.” about his father, actor Robert Downey, is actually his most beloved film of his to date.
“It’s a way for me to let myself know that just because this might be the most important thing I’ve ever committed to a data card on a camera,” Downey said, “doesn’t mean it’s not contained (expletive) to everyone else .”