Here’s a story that plays a little better when you know the context, outside of the potential for a spicy headline: Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, co-writers on the upcoming Ridley Scott movie The Last Duel, did not write the scenes that take place from the perspective of the film’s female lead, played by Jodie Comer. They only wrote for the film’s main man characters, played by Damon and Adam Driver, meaning—if you wanted to be a little unfair and clickbait-y—they only wrote for the male characters and hired Nicole Holofcener to write for the female character, as if the guys who wrote the Boston bro epic Good Will Hunting are simply unable to write women.
But, context helps here, and it turns out that this divvying up of writing duties actually served a purpose. The Last Duel is set in Olde Timey France and is about about a knight (Damon) whose wife (Comer) has accused his squire (Driver) of rape, leading to the two former-friends to demand that the matter be settled with an old-fashioned duel to the death. Speaking with ET, Damon explained that the movie is “about perspective,” so it made sense to have men write the perspective of the men and have a woman write the perspective of the woman. He says the established “the architecture” of the movie. Presumably, this means the scenes focusing on different characters will feel different, perhaps introducing some kind of Rashomon-style angle where it’s unclear whose perspective you’re supposed to trust.
Whether or not it’s literally because of this particular approach to structure, though, Damon says he and Affleck had a much easier time writing The Last Duel than they did on Good Will Hunting. He told ET that “the process went along a lot faster” and that the two of them might even “write a lot more in the future” because it was more fun and less time-consuming than they thought it would be. Seeing as how this is only the second time the two of them have written a screenplay together, more Damon/Affleck scripts could potentially be a big deal—unless this turns out to be bad, in which case they’ll just have to go back to being lifelong friends.