A decade ago nobody would have believed that Robert Downey Jr. would be one of the most bankable stars on the planet. In 2003 the recovering drug addict was a supporting player in dire Halle Berry schlocker, Gothika, while his close friend Mel Gibson personally stumped up his high insurance premiums to star in The Singing Detective.
That’s not to say that Downey Jr. wasn’t always great (see Wonder Boys), it’s just that he became a caricature, a punch line.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Zodiac showed audiences what they were missing. Sure, those movies weren’t massive hits, but Hollywood took notice. He was then cast in Iron Man, and like Johnny Depp before him, he was welcomed with open arms as a pariah turned good.
Tropic Thunder, Iron Man 2, the Sherlock Holmes movies and The Avengers have solidified his reputation – and things can only get bigger and better with Shane Black’s Iron Man 3.