The trailer for Ridley Scott’s forthcoming historical epic features a lot of clanking armor, accusations, and not to mention a good ol’ yell from Adam Driver. Over the course of 2 minutes, with grand imagery bolstered by a strong cast, a crime committed against a woman becomes the framework for a conflict between two men as they battle it out with swords in The Last Duel.
Set in medieval France, Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) accuses Jacques Le Gris (Driver) of raping his wife, Marguerite de Carrouges (played by Jodie Comer). Jean appeals to the high court seeking a fight to the death for Le Gris’ alleged crime, a rare occurrence by this time. The friends turned rivals find themselves in a duel for their reputation and life. If Carrouges loses, Marguerite will be burned at the stake as a false accuser.
The historical film is based on Eric Jager’s book The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France, which unravels all of the complicated and widely theorized history surrounding the duel. This was indeed the very last judicial duel in France—as they probably figured out it was archaic and brutal to force men to kill or be killed as a sign of honor or God’s will (or whatever) without achieving true justice. As Comer’s character puts it in the trailer: “You are risking my life, so you can save your pride.”
Damon and Ben Affleck teamed up again for their first screenplay written together since Good Will Hunting, with the help of Nicole Holofcener (Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Enough Said). Affleck takes on a supporting role in the film and looks nearly unrecognizable as Le Gris’ ally Count Pierre d’Alençon with his icy white hair.
The Last Duel premieres in theaters October 15.