Universal edited ‘Dolittle’ after it was nearly done to make it more family-friendly: Report

The film cost roughly $175M to make

Universal Studios reportedly made edits to its feature film “Dolittle” late into the filmmaking process because producers said it wasn’t lighthearted enough to appeal to a wide audience, according to a report.

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The film, which cost roughly $175 million to make, hit theaters Friday and stars Robert Downey Jr. as “Dr. John Dolittle,” an exotic England man who can communicate with animals.

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In a scene that didn’t make the original cut, according to the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Dolittle removes debris from an animal’s rectum, reliving it from indigestion. The scene was added after the film was nearly done in an attempt to get the film to be more family-friendly.

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The changes caused the film to be delayed by nine months and required script rewrites, the hiring of two new directors to help with additional photography and other needs, according to people familiar with the production that spoke to the Journal.

Universal’s initial expectations were that “Dolittle” would make just $25 million this weekend.

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The 1998 version of the film, starring Eddie Murphy, made $29 million in its opening weekend. The 2001 sequel raked in $25 million in its domestic opening.

“Dolittle” had a 76 percent Rotten Tomatoes audience score at press time.

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