At the time of its release, this lavish period war drama from hyperkinetic director Michael Bay became the most expensive motion picture ever green-lighted by a studio. Ben Affleck stars as Rafe McCawley, a military pilot stationed under Jimmy Doolittle (Alec Baldwin) in New Jersey, along with his best friend from childhood, Danny Walker (Jost Hartnett). Rafe is chomping at the bit to get involved in World War II, but America has not entered the conflict, so he is forced to fight on loan to the Royal Air Force in Britain, leaving behind his beautiful girlfriend Evelyn (Kate Beckinsale). After Rafe goes overseas, both Danny and Evelyn are transferred to the naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where word arrives that Rafe has been killed in action. A grief-stricken Evelyn and Danny become romantically attached, a situation that becomes a lit powder keg when Rafe suddenly appears, having survived his ordeal in the European war. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor puts the romantic triangle on hold, as the best friends are ordered to undertake a top-secret and highly dangerous retaliatory mission to bomb Tokyo, once again under the command of Doolittle. Although the trio of leads are entirely fictional, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tom Sizemore, and Jon Voight (FDR) co-star in the roles of real-life historical figures. "Pearl Harbor" is based on a script by Randall Wallace, writer of "Braveheart" (1995) and "The Man in the Iron Mask" (1998). Taking a page from the production history of James Cameron's "Titanic" (1997), many of the actors and filmmakers involved with "Pearl Harbor" deferred their usual salaries until the film "broke even" at the box office.