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OTRC: Robert Downey Jr. to voice dog Mr. Peabody in animated film

Mr. Peabody and his pet boy Sherman in the 'Rocky and Bullwinkle' cartoon in the 1950s. / Robert Downey Jr. speaks to OnTheRedCarpet.com in May 2010. (Bullwinkle Studios)

Robert Downey Jr. is set to voice the genius dog Mr. Peabody in an animated film titled "Mr. Peabody and Sherman," based on the "Rocky and Bullwinkle" character.

The character and his pet boy were featured on the 1950s and 1960s cartoons and used a time travel device called the WABAC Machine to witness famous historical events. The film project is headed by DreamWorks Animation.

"I've loved the time-traveling adventures of 'Mr. Peabody and Sherman' since I was a kid," director Rob Minkoff said in a statement provided by the studio. "There's something irresistibly charming about the idea that the world's smartest person is a dog who adopts a 'pet' boy."

The movie is set for release in 3D in 2014, Entertainment Weekly magazine said, quoting Minkoff as saying the story will focus on the characters' time traveling and their origin.

Downey Jr. ha starred in films such as "Iron Man" and its sequel and was the subject of one of Ricky Gervais' jokes at the recent 2011 Golden Globe Awards.

During the show, Gervais introduced Downey Jr. by giving a list of his recent successful film credits before ending with: "But many of you in this room probably know him best from such facilities as the Betty Ford Clinic and Los Angeles County Jail."

Downey Jr., who spent time in rehab in the late 1990s and spent time in prison in 2000 following several drug-related arrests, didn't take kindly to Gervais' joke, saying: "Aside from the fact that it's been hugely mean-spirited with mildly sinister undertones, I'd say the vibe of the show has been pretty good so far, wouldn't you?"

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