The first trailer has arrived for The Last Duel, an upcoming period drama from prolific filmmaker Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Blade Runner, Alien, The Martian).
Jodie Comer, Matt Damon, Adam Driver and Ben Affleck lead the picture, based on the true story of France’s last officially recognised judicial duel, fought on December 29th, 1386. When Marguerite de Carrouges (Comer) accuses Norman squire Jacques LeGris (Driver) of viciously assaulting her, King Charles VI (Affleck) declares that the matter will be settled by a duel to death between LeGris and her husband, prideful and respected Knight Jean de Carrouges (Damon).
This marks the first feature screenplay that Damon and Affleck have worked on being produced since their Oscar-winning script for Good Will Hunting. The pair wrote The Last Duel with Oscar-nominated scribe Nicole Holofcener (Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Enough Said), based on the book The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France by Eric Jager.
It certainly looks cinematic and there are hints of a sword-wielding epic – the type of period fare we’re getting less and less of these days. Scott has certainly delivered the goods in this area before, with Gladiator and his director’s cut of Kingdom of Heaven being good examples. There’s no doubt Scott has a number of masterpieces under his belt, but there’s also no denying the mixed bag that has been his output in recent years – Alien: Covenant and The Counsellor come to mind as arguably less-than-stellar efforts from the director. Nevertheless, I’ve been a fan for a long, long time – and this looks quite strong. Fingers crossed.
The Last Duel will be in Australian cinemas on October 14th and US cinemas on October 15th.
Official synopsis for The Last Duel:
The historical epic is a cinematic and thought-provoking drama set in the midst of the Hundred Years War that explores the ubiquitous power of men, the frailty of justice and the strength and courage of one woman willing to stand alone in the service of truth. Based on actual events, the film unravels long-held assumptions about France’s last sanctioned duel between Jean de Carrouges and Jacques Le Gris, two friends turned bitter rivals. Carrouges is a respected knight known for his bravery and skill on the battlefield. Le Gris is a Norman squire whose intelligence and eloquence make him one of the most admired nobles in court. When Carrouges’ wife, Marguerite, is viciously assaulted by Le Gris, a charge he denies, she refuses to stay silent, stepping forward to accuse her attacker, an act of bravery and defiance that puts her life in jeopardy. The ensuing trial by combat, a grueling duel to the death, places the fate of all three in God’s hands.