Ridley Scott may have found his next film.
The Alien and Gladiator director will next be directing a revenge story titled The Last Duel, based on a 2004 novel by author Eric Jager. This project is is coming together quickly, reports outlet Deadline.
The plan is for Ben Affleck and Matt Damon to star in the picture. And not only that, they’ll be writing the screenplay with Oscar-nominated writer/director Nicole Holofcener (Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Enough Said). This is to be the first Affleck and Damon screenplay collaboration since Good Will Hunting, which earned them both Oscars.
The book is based on a real duel that took place in medieval France. Affleck and Damon will be playing two best friends that have one hell of a falling out. Norman knight Jean de Carrouges returns from war in Scotland to find that his wife is accusing his friend, Jacques LeGris, of brutally raping her. Jacques claims he is innocent. They go before a teenage King Charles VI and the court finds itself deadlocked. The final decision: a trial by combat, and if her husband loses the duel, she will be put to death as a false accuser.
Fox had the rights to book for quite a while before they were acquired Disney. Now that the House of Mouse has it, it will be interesting to see if the studio affects the potential brutality of the story. Deadline reports that it’s a highly coveted project, so it won’t have a problem getting picked up by another studio if Disney decides it doesn’t fit in its wheelhouse.
Scott has been attached to another project at Disney: Merlin, a new take on the wizard tale. Word is that will be pushed back if The Last Duel continues on its current route.
Interestingly, Scott made his feature directorial debut with 1977 film The Duellists, which starred Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel and told of a feud between two Napoleonic officers that evolves into a decades-long series of duels.