Home Entertainment Some of the worst parts of Universal’s Dolittle are the result of studio reshoots

Some of the worst parts of Universal’s Dolittle are the result of studio reshoots

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Universal’s Dolittle, starring Robert Downey Jr. in his first big non-Marvel role in a while, was supposed to be the start of a new big franchise for the studio. Instead, on the back of some horrible critical reviews, the film seems to have crashed spectacularly at the box office, taking any hope of it becoming the next big thing along with it.

Most of the criticism coming from the movie seems to point to the editing being a jumbled mess and the tone being inconsistent. As you can probably guess, it turns out it’s all the result of studio meddling. WSJ reports that the reason for the film’s initial release delay (from April 2019 to January 2020) was all a result of additional reshoots ordered by the studio to make the film sillier and appeal to younger filmgoers. Universal was initially worried that the film was too serious and therefore wouldn’t connect with families the way they had wanted. They ordered many of the scenes which have led to many of the film’s most derided moments by critics – along with a climax that is apparently ridiculous (having not watched the movie yet myself, I will have to take them on their word for now).

Now film reshoots are nothing unusual in the movie business with producers and directors often needing to reshoot scenes to make the film flow better. When reshoots don’t work so well (as with Warner Bros’ Suicide Squad) is when they try to change the tone of the movie with them. It’s a strategy that seldom works and apparently hasn’t worked here.

While I fully understand the studio wanting the film to be more humorous in tone and appeal to wider audiences, especially given the money they spent on the film (around $175 million), changing the original vision of the director seldom works. What was supposed to be a faithful adaptation of the original stories by Hugh Lofting turned into something that was far sillier and fantastical than writer and director Stephen Gaghan had intended. Hopefully, the box office bomb that the studio now has on its hands will help them learn the lesson, though I highly doubt it.

Last Updated: January 21, 2020

19 Comments

  1. Raptor Rants

    January 21, 2020 at 13:17

    I guess you can say that all the reshoots… Dolittle to make it good?

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      January 21, 2020 at 13:29

      Apparently there were 7 months of reshoots

      Reply

  2. Raptor Rants

    January 21, 2020 at 13:29

    • Hammersteyn

      January 21, 2020 at 13:29

      Depends, I like watching shows where they implode buildings.

      Reply

    • BradeLunner

      January 21, 2020 at 13:39

      Man is on form today

      Reply

  3. Stoompot

    January 21, 2020 at 13:29

    Maybe try a gender swap for the main next time?

    Reply

  4. Raptor Rants

    January 21, 2020 at 13:29

  5. Raptor Rants

    January 21, 2020 at 13:29

  6. Raptor Rants

    January 21, 2020 at 13:39

    Ok I’ll stop now

    Reply

  7. Raptor Rants

    January 21, 2020 at 13:39

    • Hammersteyn

      January 21, 2020 at 15:46

      Quick Trivia. They both were in a movie called Bowfinger
      B o w f i n g e r
      2 + 15 – 23 + 6 – 9 – 14 + 7 + 5 + 18 = 7
      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      !!!RUNS!!!
      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Reply

      • Raptor Rants

        January 21, 2020 at 15:52

        *tableflips*

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          January 21, 2020 at 16:02

          Ok I’ll stop now

          Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      January 21, 2020 at 15:46

      Quick Trivia. They both were in a movie called Bowfinger
      B o w f i n g e r
      2 + 15 – 23 + 6 – 9 – 14 + 7 + 5 + 18 = 7
      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      !!!RUNS!!!
      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Reply

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