Twitter Is Already Canceling Ben Affleck and Matt Damon for Their New Movie
The two are reportedly teaming up with Nicole Holofcener to write The Last Duel, a tale of medieval knights being...a little problematic.
After promising to “get in the back seat” and “close [his] mouth for awhile” after making some less-than-woke comments about the #MeToo movement last year, Matt Damon is back behind the wheel—and Ben Affleck is riding shotgun.
Yes, the Cambridge pals are reportedly teaming up once again for a project entitled The Last Duel, with Ridley Scott set to direct. Deadline reports that Damon and Affleck collaborated with Nicole Holofcener on the script, which sources say is close to finished, and that they will both star in the film as well. If this project comes to fruition, it would be the first film co-written by the pair since 1997’s Good Will Hunting.
Speaking of Good Will Hunting, for those of you who have found the Boston classic to be a liiiiittle problematic upon a contemporary watch, here’s some good news: It’s 2019, Matt Damon spent a whole year doing some thoughtful back seat reflection, and it’s no longer acceptable for a film to use women as plot drivers in a story that’s ultimately about a bunch of white hyper-masculine guys. That’s why The Last Duel will use women as plot drivers in a story that’s ultimately about a bunch of white hyper-masculine guys in medieval times—totally different!
The film is reportedly an adaptation of the well-regarded 2004 book by the same name, which Damon was coincidentally photographed carrying out of Affleck’s house this weekend. The book, written by medieval literature professor Eric Jager, recounts the true tale of France’s last legally-sanctioned duel, a 1386 conflict between the Norman knight Jean de Carrouges and the squire Jacques Le Gris. The two knights were friends, until de Carrouges’ wife, Marguerite, told him that Le Gris brutally raped her while Carrouges was away at war. They bring the issue before the king, who orders they resolve the issue via “trial by combat.” The one left alive will be considered the winner, and if Carrouges dies in the duel, Marguerite—who is at this point in the story pregnant—will also be put to death as a false accuser.
To quote Minnie Driver:
God God, SERIOUSLY? https://t.co/NDZFrLDXil
— Minnie Driver (@driverminnie) December 15, 2017
Yeah, it’s safe to say that a movie that uses rape as a plot device to explore medieval manliness is probably not the best look at this moment in time, especially given Affleck and Damon’s reputations around issues related to women (remember when Affleck apologized for groping actress Hilarie Burton on TRL?). The project is still relatively under wraps, though, so maybe Damon and Affleck’s screenplay will…somehow put a less problematic twist on the tale? The inclusion of Holofcener, who boasts a résumé full of films about smart, complicated women, as co-writer suggests that there’s a good chance they’re already thinking about how to structure the story to shine more light on Marguerite. Plus, Ridley Scott is no stranger to compelling stories about women, given his work directing classics like Thelma & Louise and Alien.
If the team does plan to change the story, though, it’s probably in their best interest to reveal those details sooner rather than later. For until then, these knights will be battling Twitter flames hotter than any dragon’s breath.
Just when their publicists thought they had some job security
— Kai (@kaichoyce) July 22, 2019
I guess there’s no one more qualified to tell the story of how raping a woman ruins a male friendship than these fathers of daughters.
— Nicole (@augleda) July 22, 2019
“I raped your wife- how do ya like them apples?”
— i am flippy 🌹 (@spoonflipper) July 23, 2019