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Matt Damon Reveals Why He Needed Ridley Scott To Make The Last Duel

Ridley Scott's upcoming period drama, "The Last Duel," stars Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jodie Comer, and Adam Driver. Based on historical events, Damon, Affleck, and Nicole Holofcener ("Can You Ever Forgive Me?") wrote a screenplay adapted from Eric Jager's "The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat." The movie tells a profound and gripping story that follows the falling out between two friends, Sir Jean de Carrouges (Damon) and Jacques Le Gris (Driver), after the wife of de Carrouges (Comer) makes serious criminal allegations following a traumatic encounter with Le Gris. These events lead to the sanctioning of the last duel in 14th-century France.

In addition to bringing audiences back to the late 1300s, "The Last Duel" may remind some viewers of Scott's 1977 directorial debut, "The Duellists," which is similarly inspired by true events and based loosely on Joseph Conrad's short story "The Duel" (via IMDb). As it turns out, the connection is no coincidence. On Saturday, Looper attended a press conference for the upcoming drama and heard directly from Damon on how Scott's work on "The Duellists" led to the actor approaching him to direct "The Last Duel." Plus, the actor reveals how he ended up co-writing the script with Affleck.

Matt Damon knew right away Ridley Scott was the perfect director

"The Last Duel" star Matt Damon explained how he managed to get Ridley Scott on board to direct the period drama. During the press conference, he explained that "from the moment I saw the cover of the book [The Last Duel]," he instantly thought of Scott's first movie, 1977's "The Duellists." The timing was somewhat fated, as Damon had "been looking for something because we did 'The Martian' together six or seven years ago, and I just had the best time working with him."

He also added that the pace at which Scott makes a movie was also enticing to a degree. Damon shared that "the four cameras at a time, the amount of momentum that you get, it's just all the energy is around, right on the floor. [...] It's just all happening, and it's really exciting. I just love that."

Damon then recalled, "So, I originally gave [Scott] the book, and he said right away he read it and wanted to do it," and then revealed the next step was finding a writer. He went on to say, "I told Ben [Affleck] — I was having dinner with Ben — and I told him the idea, and he was like, 'Well, why don't we write it?' And I was like, 'What? You want to write that?' and he was like, 'Sure.' So, it just kind of happened kind of really organically, and it happened really quickly." The "Good Will Hunting" team got up and running, and then, per Damon, the duo "begged Nicole [Holofcener] to come join, and she did, and that was it. We were kind of off to the races."

"The Last Duel" debuts in theaters on October 15.