In Ridley Scott’s “The Last Duel,” Matt Damon and Adam Driver battle in a duel to the death over Jodie Comer. But the first trailer shows that it’s Comer’s character who is the main protagonist of the film, and she’s the one truly risking her life.
Scott’s film is written by Nicole Holofcener (“Can You Ever Forgive Me”), Damon and Ben Affleck, who also co-stars. The historical period drama, which is based on a true story, opens in theaters from 20th Century Studios on Oct. 15.
Comer plays Marguerite de Carrouges, who claims she is viciously assaulted by a respected knight named Le Gris (Driver). When he denies the charge, she refuses to stay silent, stepping forward to accuse her attacker and leading Damon to defend his wife’s honor. But should Damon’s character lose in his duel, it will be her life that’s in danger.
“I am risking my life for you,” Damon says to Comer in the trailer. She fires back, “You are risking my life so you can save your pride.”
“The Last Duel” is based on Eric Jager’s book “The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France.” The book is set in the Middle Ages but grapples with the norms of etiquette, social aspirations and justice of the day that could lead to severe consequences should someone defy the church, the nobility at court or a teenage king. Women, especially, had no legal standing in society without the support of their husbands, and the film’s trailer shines light on those gender politics.
“I love working with Matt, so it was an added bonus to be able to work with him and Ben as both actors and as screenwriters, along with Nicole Holofcener, and I knew it would be a great result,” Scott said in a statement. “I had admired the show ‘Killing Eve’ and had been looking for the opportunity to present Jodie Comer with a challenging role. Her performance as Marguerite will make her one of the great actresses of her generation.”
“This film is an effort to retell the story of a heroic woman from history whom most people haven’t heard of,” the writers said in a statement. “We admired her bravery and resolute determination and felt this was both a story that needed to be told and one whose drama would captivate audiences the way it moved us as writers. As we further explored the story, we found so many aspects of the formal, codified patriarchy of 14th century Western Europe to still be present in vestigial ways (and in some cases almost unchanged) in today’s society. We chose to use the device of telling the story from several character’s perspectives in order to examine the immutable fact that although often multiple people who experience the same event come away with differing accounts, there can only be one truth.”
“The Last Duel” is produced by Ridley Scott, Kevin J. Walsh (“Manchester by the Sea”), Jennifer Fox (“Nightcrawler”), Nicole Holofcener, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Kevin Halloran (“Ford v Ferrari”), Drew Vinton (“Promised Land”) and Madison Ainley (“Justice League”) serve as executive producers.
Check out the first trailer above.