The Last Duel (2021 film)
|The Last Duel|
|Directed by||Ridley Scott|
|Based on||The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France|
by Eric Jager
|Edited by||Claire Simpson|
|Music by||Harry Gregson-Williams|
|Distributed by||20th Century Studios|
The Last Duel is a 2021 historical drama film, directed and produced by Ridley Scott. It is based on the book of the same name by Eric Jager, with a screenplay by Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck, and Matt Damon. The film stars Damon as Jean de Carrouges, a knight who challenges his friend and squire Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) to a duel after Carrouges's wife (Jodie Comer) accuses Le Gris of raping her; Affleck also stars.
An adaptation of Jager's book was first announced in 2015, though it was not officially greenlit until July 2019. Affleck and Damon were confirmed as stars and co-writers that month, with Comer and Driver joining the cast that fall. Filming took place in France and Ireland from February to October 2020, with a hiatus of several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 14th-century France, Marguerite de Thibouville claims she has been raped by her husband's best friend. Her husband, knight Jean de Carrouges, challenges his friend and squire Jacques Le Gris to trial by combat. It is the last legally sanctioned duel in France's history.
- Matt Damon as Jean de Carrouges
- Adam Driver as Jacques Le Gris
- Jodie Comer as Marguerite de Carrouges (née Thibouville)
- Ben Affleck as Count Pierre d'Alençon
- Harriet Walter as Nicole de Buchard
- Nathaniel Parker as Sir Robert de Thibouville
- Sam Hazeldine as Thomin du Bois
- Michael McElhatton as Bernard Latour
- Alex Lawther as King Charles VI
- Marton Csokas as Crespin
- Željko Ivanek
- Clive Russell
- Adam Nagaitis
- Bosco Hogan as Priest
The project was initially announced in July 2015, with Francis Lawrence planning to direct the film, and Shaun Grant writing the screenplay. No further development was announced, and the film rights lapsed. In July 2019, Deadline Hollywood announced that Ridley Scott was planning to direct the film with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon set to star, as well as write the screenplay with Nicole Holofcener. With Walt Disney Studios holding the rights to the film as a result of the Disney–Fox merger, it was unknown if the company would produce the film owing to its subject matter; however, Deadline Hollywood added that "every studio in town was waiting in the wings" should Disney sell the rights. In September, Jodie Comer entered negotiations to join the cast and was confirmed the following month, with Adam Driver entering negotiations to join the film after Affleck opted to play a different supporting role. Driver was confirmed in November, with Disney stating it would distribute the film by setting a release date. Harriet Walter was added to the cast in February 2020.
Filming began on February 14, 2020 in Dordogne, France and continued until March 12, 2020 in the medieval castle of Berzé-le-Châtel (near Mâcon), Burgundy, France (with a film crew of 300 people including 100 extras). Filming was to have taken place in Ireland, using locations at Bective Abbey, County Meath and Cahir Castle, County Tipperary and various locations across Dublin and County Wicklow from March 23, 2020 to March 30, 2020. On March 13, 2020, Disney announced that the studio had to delay the shoot indefinitely amid concerns for the cast and crew in light of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as travel restrictions in Europe. Filming resumed in late September 2020 and production concluded in Ireland on October 14, 2020.
The Last Duel was originally scheduled to begin a limited theatrical release on December 25, 2020, before going wide on January 8, 2021. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the release date was delayed to October 15, 2021. It had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September 10, 2021. The film will play exclusively in theaters for 45 days before heading to digital platforms.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 69% of 16 critics gave the film a positive review, with an average rating of 6.6/10. On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 61 out of 100 based on 10 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
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- Fleming, Mike Jr. (October 14, 2020). "Ridley Scott Eyes Another Epic: Joaquin Phoenix As Napoleon In 'Kitbag' As Director Today Wraps 'The Last Duel'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 14, 2020.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (July 23, 2020). "'Mulan' Off The Calendar; Disney Also Delays 'Avatar' & 'Star Wars' Movies By One Year As Studio Adjusts To Pandemic". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
- Rubin, Rebecca (July 23, 2020). "'Star Wars' Films, 'Avatar' Sequels Pushed Back a Year in Disney Release Calendar Shakeup". Variety. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
- Vivarelli, Nick (July 26, 2021). "Venice Film Festival Full Lineup Unveiled – Live Updates". Variety. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
- "The Last Duel (2021)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
- "The Last Duel Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 11, 2021.