This is the perfect storm of talent. Eric Jager’s novel, The Last Duel is getting the Hollywood treatment with some huge names behind it. The legendary Ridley Scott, known for films like Alien, Gladiator, and The Martian will direct the film starring Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. The Good Will Hunting duo is also writing the adaptation with Nicole Holofcener who is an Oscar nominated writer and director.
Here is the plot synopsis of Jager’s The Last Duel from Amazon, which is based on a true story:
“When Jean de Carrouges, a Norman knight, returns from combat in Scotland to find his wife, Marguerite, accusing Jacques LeGris, her husband’s old friend and fellow courtier, of brutally raping her, the knight takes his cause before the teenage King Charles VI. Amid LeGris’s vociferous claims of innocence and doubts about the now pregnant Marguerite’s charges (and about the paternity of her child), the deadlocked court decrees a “trial by combat” that leaves her fate, too, in the balance. For if her husband and champion loses the duel, she will be put to death as a false accuser.
The dramatic true story of the knight, the squire, and the lady unfolds in 1386, during the devastating Hundred Years War between France and England, as enemy troops pillage the land, madness haunts the French court, the Great Schism splits the Church, Muslim armies threaten Christendom, and rebellion, treachery, and plague turn the lives of all into toys of Fortune. Based on extensive research in Normandy and Paris, The Last Duel brings to life a colorful, turbulent age and three unforgettable characters caught in a fatal triangle of crime, scandal, and revenge. It is at once a moving human drama, a captivating detective story, and an engrossing work of historical intrigue.”
It sounds pretty intense, and worthy of the caliber of talent it attracted. This will be the first thing Affleck and Damon have written together since their Academy Award winning movie Good Will Hunting. However, they’ve appeared in many movies together since then. In fact, they have one this year, when both are set to appear in Kevin Smith’s Jay And Silent Bob Reboot.
Damon and Scott have both worked together on The Martian, so this blend of talent seems organic.
This was a project at Fox, which means Disney now controls it. If they don’t feel it’s for them, due to the heavy subject matter, Deadline says that nearly every other studio is waiting in the wings to pounce. I don’t blame them, the project sounds incredible, and if done right can really be something special.
No word on a release date or anything like that, but this one looks like one to keep an eye on.