It's one of the most remarkable Hollywood comeback stories, how Robert Downey Jr went from down and out drug addict to one of the world's most bankable movie stars.
The Hollywood Reporter in the United States this week reported Downey Jr was set to receive an incredible $US75 million ($NZ112.8 million) for his role as Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame.
The huge pay packet for the final of the Marvel franchise is because Downey Jr signed a lucrative deal to share some of the profits, but it wasn't always the case, reports news.com.au.
Back in 2008, when Downey Jr, 54, made his debut as Tony Stark in Iron Man, he only received a pay packet of $500,000, which in major blockbuster terms isn't huge.
Director Jon Favreau and producers struggled to even get insurance for Downey Jr because of the bad-boy history that had plagued him for over a decade.
"Everyone knew he was talented … certainly by studying the Iron Man role and developing that script I realised that the characters seem to line up with Robert in all the good and bad ways," Favreau said at the time.
"And the story of Iron Man was really the story of Robert's career."
All these years later, box office figures show the nine Marvel Cinematic Universe films that Downey Jr has starred in have generated a massive $US9.45 billion ($NZ14.22 billion).
The risk Favreau initially took on Downey Jr — and convincing film executives to give him a chance — has paid off.
That $US9.45 billion figure is set to rise even more. The film made a record $US357 million ($NZ537 million) in its first weekend in the United States.
In Australia, the film made $50.2 million in a record week.
Huge success first came for Downey Jr in the second half of the '80s and '90s with movies such as Less Than Zero in 1987, Soapdish in 1991 and Chaplin in 1992 all very successful.
He even won an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of silent film star Charlie Chaplin.
Downey Jr had so much going for him, but the demons of drugs were soon to take over.
So where did it all go wrong for Downey Jr?
His father Robert Downey Sr introduced him to drugs, and they would occasionally smoke pot together.
That led to a drug addiction and a number of visits to rehab in the 1980s when Hollywood was full of recreational party drugs, such as cocaine.
The real trouble started for Downey Jr in 1996, when he was arrested by police for carrying cocaine, heroin and a shotgun.
It led to a number of arrests, very public meltdowns and court appearances.
In 1999, he told a judge of the scale of his drug addiction, which at that stage had derailed one of the most promising movie careers in history.
"It's like I have a shotgun in my mouth, and I've got the finger on the trigger, and I like the taste of gun metal," he said.
After that particular arrest hearing Downey Jr spent a year in prison, but the drama didn't end there, with numerous parole breaches.
In the year 2000, soon after he was released from jail, the creator of Ally McBeal, David E. Kelley, gave Downey Jr a huge chance, casting him in the massive worldwide hit as Larry, the boyfriend of Ally who was famously played by Calista Flockhart.
For a while, it looked like a fairytale comeback for the actor, as he rescued the show from flagging ratings and made it relevant again.
However, that didn't last, with Downey Jr arrested on drug charges on April 24, 2001, and written out of the show with one episode to film.
"I can tell you honestly that with Robert Downey Jr, we made the right decisions every step of the way," Ally McBeal director and executive producer Bill D'Elia told Entertainment Weekly at the time.
"Where it fell apart had to do with the unknown.
"Obviously, we're all saddened by this and wished for a better ending, but you can't predict these things.
"You can only have faith in talent."
There are three different mug shots of a dishevelled Downey Jr in public that will forever be a reminder of the extent of what he went through.
In 2003, after nearly two decades of drug use, court appearances, embarrassing mug shots and countless headlines, Downey Jr had enough.
He told the New York Times five years later in 2008 as Iron Man launched, one day in 2003 he threw all his drugs into the ocean in Los Angeles and literally never looked back.
"If I see somebody who is throwing their life away with both hands and is raging around and destroying their family, I can't understand the person," he said.
"I'm not in that sphere of activity anymore, and I don't understand it anymore than I understood 10 or 20 years ago that somehow everything was going to turn out OK from this lousy, exotic and dark triple chapter of my life.
"I swear to God I don't even really understand that planet anymore."
After Downey Jr threw his drugs into the ocean, it wasn't an easy ride for him.
It wasn't until Iron Man, which was shot in 2007 and came out the year after, that he was truly back.
Woody Allen wanted to cast him in his 2004 film Melinda and Melinda but couldn't get insurance and ended up casting Will Ferrell in the role that was meant for Downey Jr.
Now all his critics are swallowing their words.
Sober, clean, with three children and a loving wife Susan — his second marriage — Downey Jr has turned out to be the real winner.
He also is universally liked by his Avengers: Endgame co-stars, including Chris Evans who summed up his reputation not only behind the scenes in the Marvel films but in Hollywood as a whole.
"Robert has really been incredibly thoughtful in his care of the other actors, me especially," Evans said in 2018.
"In the beginning of the franchise, I was really feverous, but he extended his kindness and warmth and helped pick me up in a lot of ways and gave me confidence and direction and support."
Robert Downey Jr is a true, real-life Hollywood comeback story.