Ben Affleck as Pierre d’Alençon, Adam Driver as Jacques Le Gris, and Matt Damon as Jean de Carrouges in 20th Century Studios’ THE LAST DUEL. Photo by Jessica Forde. © 2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.
20th Century Studios’ The Last Duel is finally out in theaters. This gripping tale from visionary filmmaker Ridley Scott will have audiences glued to the screen as they try and catch subtle differences in each version of the story. This is a story based on real events set in 14th century France about betrayal and vengeance. The events circle around France’s last sanctioned duel between Jean de Carrouges and Jacques Le Gris. Two friends turned bitter rivals that fight to the death.
The Last Duel stars Matt Damon and Ben Affleck who also took part in writing the screenplay with Nicole Holofcener. Also starring in the film are Jodie Comer and Adam Driver. This film is based on the 2004 book by Eric Jager titled, The Last Duel: A True Story Of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France. Jager had spent over ten years tracking down, translating, and scrutinizing old historical records.
In the film, we see the story in question told from three different perspectives. The first from Sir Jean de Carrouges, the second from Jacques Le Gris, and the third from Marguerite de Carrouges. What makes this film special is its ability to tell the same story with subtle significant differences. Ones that will have you questioning characters’ motives throughout the film.
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During a recent press event for The Last Duel that LRM Online attended, the cast of the film were asked about how they managed to film the same scenes from various perspectives. Comer was the first to comment, giving the credit to the script.
“I think the beautiful thing about the script was, it was all there on the page, you know? The intentions were very, very clear as to what was needed in each perspective. Um, what was sometimes jarring, was that we shot each version simultaneously. So, we were literally jumping from one to the next.” Said Comer. She also added that it was important to her to be loyal to her character of Marguerite, regardless of the perspective.
Affleck, who plays Pierre d’Alençon in The Last Duel, answered the opposite to what Comer has said, giving her credit for being a great actress. “She’s being generous. The script was more or less, a great actress will show us the-the subtlety and nuance. The differences between, uh, the various perspectives.” Said Affleck.
Damon also gave Comer credit for all of the extra hours she put into going over the script to make sure they got it right. He goes on to also give credit to Driver who also helped out to make sure the voices of the characters felt authentic. “When you have a great actor, and we did it with Adam too, they’ll say like, ‘this moment doesn’t feel right. I don’t feel like I’d say that.’ You know what I mean? As a writer, if you have a great actor, you really wanna listen to them. Because they’re gonna kind steer you towards where a scene needs to be. So, she was really helpful in the writing process, too.” Said Damon
The Last Duel is a very heavy film that may rattle some people. With that said it was vital for the creative team and cast to make sure that if they were going to show this story, they did it to the best of their abilities. Luckily for them, they had an amazing team working on this film. In the end the result opens the door for conversation about what we each took away from each of the characters’ perspectives and how we interpret them.
20th Century Studios’ The Last Duel is now playing in theaters everywhere.