Director Ridley Scott returns to the field of the historical epic with the first trailer for The Last Duel. The filmmaker behind The Duellists, Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven applies his signature, sweeping sense of scale to a 12th-century conflict that is rife with troubling ramifications.
Scott also has A-list clout on his side: Matt Damon and Ben Affleck star in, and write, the movie, their first screenwriting collaboration since nabbing an Oscar for Good Will Hunting in 1998. The two actors adapt Eric Jager's book 'The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France', which concerns a real-life jousting tournament between knights Jean de Carrouges and Jacques de Gris. The former challenged the latter after accusing him of raping his wife, setting in motion the last formally recognised duel in French history.
In the movie, Damon plays Carrouges while De Gris is portrayed by Star Wars stalwart Adam Driver. Affleck, meanwhile, appears as Count Pierre d'Alençon. However, the trailer indicates the show will be stolen by Killing Eve's Jodie Comer, playing Carrouges' wife Marguerite. The moral complexities of the dual are refracted through her character as she confronts her husband's motivations: is he challenging De Gris to defend her honour, or his own pride? And if Carrouges dies, what becomes of her?
It sets up an intriguing moral conundrum beyond the typically arresting surface trappings – the film is shot by veteran cinematographer Darius Wolski, who worked with Scott on The Martian, and the attention to period detail looks as sumptuous as one would expect.
Following numerous pandemic-related delays (which caused Damon to be stranded in Ireland when production temporarily shut down), The Last Duel is set for release on October 15th.