The Last Duel: Matt Damon and Ben Affleck Discuss Writing Their First Script Since Good Will Hunting

The Last Duel is hitting theaters on Friday and marks the first script written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck since Good Will Hunting, which won them Oscars back in 1998. This time, the stars have teamed up with Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said) to adapt Eric Jager's book of the same name which follows two knights, Jean de Carrouges (Damon) and Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver), in 14th-century France who are set to duel to the death after a conflict concerning de Carrouges' wife, Marguerite (Jodie Comer). Recently, Affleck and Damon took part in a press conference for The Last Duel and spoke about working on their first script together in over 20 years.

"So, why don't you ask Ben?," Damon joked when the moderator said she had to ask him about Good Will Hunting. "'Cause you're older," Affleck quipped. "I don't know. That's a really good question," Damon added when asked why they chose to adapt this new story all these years later. "I think we were just, we were kind of afraid of writing. 'Cause we were so inefficient. It was so time-consuming the first time we did it 'cause we didn't know what we were doing. And it took us, literally, years. And we wrote thousands and thousands of pages that we, basically, scrunched into a 130-page screenplay. But, I think by just doing movies for 25 years, just kind of by osmosis, we figured out structure.  So, it turned out to be really efficient, the process. And also, like begging an incredible writer like Nicole to come help us was also a really good idea, too. That definitely streamlined the process." 

"I threw 'em a bone," Holofcener joked. Affleck piled on to the bit, "That's what gave us the confidence to do it. We knew we couldn't rely on each other." Damon jokingly confirmed, "Definitely knew we couldn't rely on each other."

Ridley Scott directed The Last Duel, a story told in three parts from the perspectives of Damon, Driver, and Comer's characters. Holofcener was in charge of telling the woman's side of things. During the press conference, asked Holofcener about crafting Marguerite. 

"You know, if I could remember, I would be more articulate," she replied. "But I don't know. It's like, I write about any character. She was a woman who had certain talents and abilities and a personality. And she would have friends. And she was sad she couldn't have a baby. And I don't know. I just started writing and once I got the hang of, you know, no-contractions and 'm'lady' and 'm'lord,' she was just this-this really brave, wonderful woman."

The Last Duel will be released in theaters on October 15th.