Matt Damon & Ben Affleck’s new movie sounds absolutely horrendous

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I kept seeing the headlines about “Ben Affleck & Matt Damon are going to work together again!” and “They’re cowriting the script!” and I thought “meh.” I spent all of five seconds thinking about how they would probably play good ol’ boys in Boston, hard-drinking and smack-talking and I didn’t even read about the project. Turns out, not so much. They’ve co-written a script and are planning to play the co-leads in a film about…*drumroll*… a true story of a 14th century French knight and his squire, in which the squire has been accused of raping the knight’s wife. The knight and the squire end up dueling. It’s a Medieval Me Too story, only it’s just about 14th century toxic masculinity or something.

Here’s a major movie that is coming together quickly. I’m hearing that Ridley Scott is going to next direct The Last Duel, a revenge story based on a novel by Eric Jager. The plan is for Matt Damon and Ben Affleck to star in the film. The script is almost done, written by Damon, Affleck and Nicole Holofcener, the Oscar-nominated writer and director. This is happening quickly and would be the first collaboration on a script between Damon and Affleck to get made since their Oscar winning work on Good Will Hunting.

Scott and Kevin Walsh are producing for Scott Free and Damon and Affleck are producing through their Pearl Street banner. The book has been at Fox for some time, and it will be interesting to see if it fits the template of Disney, which controls the script after acquiring Fox. As you will see from the description, this is not for the faint of heart and evidenced by the book’s full title, which is The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France.

It’s a revenge story of two best friends. Damon and Affleck will play them. The main characters are the Norman knight Jean de Carrouges and the squire Jacques Le Gris. They were friends. One goes to war and returns to accuse Le Gris of raping his wife Margerite de Carrouges. No one will believe the woman, and the soldier appeals to the king of France to undo a decision handed down by Count Pierre d’Anencon, which favored Le Gris. The decision handed down is that the two men fight a duel to the death. The one left alive would be declared the winner as a sign of God’s will. And if Jean de Carrouges loses, his wife will be burned at the stake for punishment for her false accusation.

Scott returns to collaborate with Damon for the first time since the Best Picture nominated The Martian, and Walsh worked with Damon producing the Best Picture nominated Manchester By The Sea. If Disney doesn’t step up, I’m told every studio in town is waiting in the wings for this one. Scott would push back Merlin, the formative pic on the wizard at Disney.

[From Deadline]

“And if Jean de Carrouges loses, his wife will be burned at the stake for punishment for her false accusation.” Of course Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were attracted to this material. The promotional tour for this film will be a crazy mess, I’m calling it now. And the film itself will be… shocking. It’s shocking that Boston Bruhs Matt Damon and f–king Ben Affleck would star together as a Medieval French knight and his French squire. It’s shocking that given their problematic histories, Matt and Ben want to lean into THIS particular story. I can’t. NOPE.

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67 Responses to “Matt Damon & Ben Affleck’s new movie sounds absolutely horrendous”

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  1. Esme says:

    I predict development hell and a low budget later version with an appropriately disneyfied ending.
    And Ridley Scott is working on a “formative years” Disney movie about the wizard Merlin, what? I mean, what? And we’re supposed to buy Batfleck and Damon as French – French! – medieval knights? I repeat, what?

    • Sophia’s Sideye says:

      There was an entire series based on the young life of Merlin. I watched it on Netflix, but it’s an older British show. It’s about when young Merlin first meets and becomes a squire for young Arthur who will be king. It was fun.

  2. Sierra says:

    So the woman gets punished for being raped?

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Happens all the time and is nothing new.

      This whole project: ew.

    • Eliza says:

      Ever heard of Medusa? Not born a monster, punished for being raped by a God in another Gods temple. Think about how she then spent the rest of her life as a prize to be beheaded by countless men. Yeah Perseus is the hero because he slayed the raped girl.

      Basically since pen hit paper there’s history/ fables of women being punished for being victims.

      • Jb says:

        I never understood that story and why they continued to paint her as some monster when she was the wronged person. You’re very right and I feel dumb for never noticing how they essentially blamed her for her own rape because she was too beautiful so a “just” punishment was to make her into a hideous monster and have men prove their strength by trying to slay her. Geezus…Hollywood please make a Medusa movie where she’s the hero and slays every gross dude who she comes across…

      • MC2 says:

        @jb- I’d watch THAT movie. This one, noooooo.

      • Betsy says:

        @Jb – that sounds like an amazing movie!

    • Marianne says:

      Or how much do you want to bet that in this story the woman will have a consensual affair and then call rape? Cause…thats what I imagine these dudes coming up with.

  3. KG says:

    Don’t count out Holofcener though

    • Mia4s says:

      Ehhhhhh, I have a bad feeling that will work out as well as Andrea Arnold “directing” season 2 of Big Little Lies. 😒

      At last the film we all need about how women being raped affects a man and a man’s sense of honour. Oh yay.

    • Nickie says:

      you are right, she fired julianne moore from can you ever forgive me for wearing a fatsuit…wonder how she feels about the casting….

    • Eliza says:

      She’s co-writing, but not directing. Less power. What are the odds Ridley doesn’t put a lot of her words on the cutting room floor to make his men more manly by using rape as a plot point?

  4. a says:

    The accents alone will be… something.

  5. Kittycat says:

    Why

  6. BlueSky says:

    I’m just shocked that these two would be attracted to such a film that highlights toxic masculinity. 🙄Can someone loan me some pearls to clutch???

  7. Becks1 says:

    what on earth. Why would those two think, “huh, yeah, this is the movie we want to make RIGHT NOW.”

    • CROWHOOD says:

      That was my thought! I’m not shocked that they don’t understand why it’s problematic but there’s NOBODY around them that got it either ?!

    • lucy2 says:

      They’re so far up their own you know whats and surrounded by enablers, apparently. No one wants this, and no one wants this from them.
      You’d think with all the bad publicity both has had lately, they’d be smarter.

  8. Mumbles says:

    Let’s see if they actually write *this* one. They wrote “Good Will Hunting” as a spy thriller (Hunting gets pursued by the CIA because of his intelligence) and Weinstein had William Goldman totally rehabilitate the script with no credit. Which makes sense; it’s not as if these two have ever written anything after that (except for this thing).

    And let’s see if it ever gets made. So many times over the years I’ve read about their upcoming projects (they were supposed to do one on real-life Yankees players in the 1970s who swapped wives….movie never happened.)

    Cracks me up how people associate working-class Boston with these two when they’re actually from Cambridge, and Damon’s father was a stockbroker.

    • Yvette says:

      @Mumbles …

      Matt Damon’s mother and father got divorced when he was two years old. He and his older brother were basically raised by a single mother, who is a school teacher (which is why he is so passionate about Teachers’ rights). That is what drew Matt and Ben together even though Matt was two years older: they were both products of broken homes and grew up near each other.

      Matt had it better than Ben, because his father maintained a relationship with his sons while Ben’s didn’t. So neither one of them were raised in a lap of luxury. Damon commented once that his kids never knew life like him and his wife growing up with no air conditioning and with limited means. Both Damon and Affleck attend the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, which is a public school, not private.

      • Mumbles says:

        My, you seem to know a lot about their upbringing!

        That said, they didn’t grow up in Charlestown or Southie like they implied in the early days of their career (and which they appropriated for “Good Will Hunting” and for that matter, “The Town.”) Geographically close but culturally very different than their upbringings (esp in the 1970s-1980s before the yuppies decided Southie and Charlestown were worth gentrifying.)

      • TheOtherSam says:

        @Mumbles is correct about Matt and Ben’s upbringings. Both grew up in Cambridge and environs, by single mothers who chose to live at times in communal living arrangements that were popular in that area in the 70s. This is one of the factors that brought them together, besides being involved in acting and drama at CR&L.

        Most of these were simple arrangements purposefully with limited luxuries, which was by design in keeping with the times. But both Matt & Ben have well-off families: Kent Damon was as noted a well-off stockbroker and Ben’s Radcliffe-educated Mom bred in the UES in NYC. Ben’s dad’s family were waspy elites with deep ties to Brown U.

  9. bored at work says:

    Exactly the movie I was waiting for! Said noone ever.

  10. msn says:

    I for one CANNOT WAIT for Matt Damon to pontificate on *not all men* and believing women and how as a father and a husband blah blah blah

    Should Nicole Holofcener’s involvement give me hope??

    • Ally says:

      I don’t think so. She loves punishing her female characters, too (they’re always degraded, shamed or have to do something gross in her movies), while the men are lovable rogues.

  11. Christine says:

    Who the HELL would pay to see this movie? They cant think of any other material? Really?

  12. Incredulous says:

    Good thing the incident it is based on has a lot of supporting material and was indeed the last duel fought under the chivalric code although they seem to have mucked around with it already, like the actual events weren’t mental enough. (I am of the opinion the accused did it.)

  13. El says:

    Just looked this up in Wikipedia and see both horses died in their duel. An additional reason for a pass.

  14. jen d. says:

    Ugh. How much do you want to bet that they do a prolonged rape scene, then center the whole movie on the men’s feelings?

    Or

    The squire and wife have an affair, the husband gets convinced it’s rape, the husband dies in the duel, the wife wants to marry the squire, then the squire decides to leave the wife out of honour. The wife is a caricature of a human being instead of being a fully fleshed out person.

  15. BornAgain says:

    This is definitely a stupid idea.

  16. LeaTheFrench says:

    And that was actually the last trial by combat in France. Not even the people in the XIVth century thought this was a good idea. Take note, MattBen.

  17. Lala11_7 says:

    Y’all….

    STOP PLAYING!

    I KNOW THIS IS A SERIOUS JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Justwastingtime says:

    God. They both are getting the faces they deserve.

  19. Chisey says:

    Yes, exactly what we need in 2019 (2020?). A lengthy exploration of how rape of women affects men. ‘I’m so conflicted because my best friend is a rapist! The worst kind, the kind that rapes my wife! ‘ ‘Well I’m the second lead so we should discuss at length why I raped my best friend’s wife. Perhaps I was jealous of him! Maybe I had a hard childhood!’ ‘I am the woman in question and-‘ ‘shhh this isn’t about you. It’s about how what was done to you affects us and our friendship.’ Oscar please!

  20. MariEmme says:

    I’ve heard of worse plots that involve violence against women, and this is based on actual events. I mean, Game of Thrones anyone?

    My issue is that I cannot imagine either of them doing a medieval period movie. I know Affleck did Shakespeare in Love, but he was a minor character playing an actor. I just don’t see it.

  21. TheOriginalMia says:

    Had a long, rage filled reply eaten by the board. Of course, this book/movie isn’t about the victim. She’s just there. Ready to be punished if her husband can’t fulfill his manly duties by slaying her rapist.

  22. TIFFANY says:

    And just when you need Liam Neeson…..

  23. Jess says:

    Ugh. So gross.

  24. Mab's A'Mabbin says:

    Barf. Make my day and attempt French accents. What actress wants to take the bait?

  25. Lowrider says:

    This is sensitive material but I laughed while reading it. I tried to imaging Ben in one of the roles and I just can’t. 😆

  26. Margo Smith says:

    Lmao what idiots

  27. Ai says:

    Their Oscar chance to make a film about a 14th century rape case and prioritize how it impacts the men over the real victim (the wife/woman) and mansplain historical roots of misogyny?!? Ugh.

    • Ally says:

      Harvey Weinstein is so sad he’s not producing this… he won these two their previous Oscar and he has expertise in this area!

  28. xdanix says:

    Oh my god. I can’t believe they’re doing this, I really can’t. People have wanted this working reunion from them since Good Will Hunting! Even with the shine distinctly gone in many ways from them the last few years, there would still be TONS of interest and anticipation for another project from them. And THIS is what they choose to spend that capital on?! How on earth did they think THIS was the one to go with, after making such a point of waiting so long because they wanted to find the “right project?”? I’m BAFFLED.

  29. Marty says:

    So it’s 2019 and we’re still using sexual violence against women as a plot device to further the character development of men? REALLY?!

  30. MIM says:

    Seriously! How f*****g tone-deaf are these two? Toxic masculinity!!!!

  31. sommolierlady says:

    The French Medieval accents from these two brah’s will be Oscar worthy, no doubt.

  32. Agnes says:

    More garbage people being garbage.

  33. Amelie says:

    Not sure why anyone expects these two to do French accents. Hollywood sets movies in period France (or Europe in general) all the time with American actors who do not do French accents ever. At most the French characters might have British accents because that makes *so much more sense.*

    You pay attention to these things when you’re a native French speaker. If this movie ever gets made Matt and Ben will be speaking in either their usual American accents or fake British accents.

  34. Burdzeye View says:

    WTF? Who in their right minds thinks this is a good idea? And which actresses are up for the role of the wife?? FFs.

  35. Fluffy Princess says:

    Yeah, this sounds great. What did Casey, Ben and Matt sit around and come up with all these ridiculous “Women — an Afterthought” type ideas?? FFS.

    It’s like Me Too was a “fad”. Now, Hollywood thinks it’s “over,” and back to their usual “who cares about women” attitudes.

    Seriously, Ef them and this stupid ass movie.

    • Ally says:

      “Women — an Afterthought” – I lol’d.

      It’s only too bad that since it’s set in medieval times, they can’t have her sitting by a phone. Maybe she’ll be sitting by where the guy on a horse drops off messages on scrolls.

  36. Wisca says:

    I have loved Nicole Holofcener forever until The Land of Steady Habits came it. It was shockingly lesser than any film she’s made. I assume it is because it was about a man instead of women or men & women. This movie will most likely be a terrible mistake.

  37. Godwina says:

    The thing about fiction that people tend to forget: POV characters are a thing. POV characters lose people all the time around them because it’s the POV character’s tale we are being told, not the minor character’s. I read lots of great, award-winning novels written by women, featuring female POV protags. And guess what? They also lose (minor-character) loved ones to violence. Do we call that “woman pain” or “fridged children”? Jemisin’s “Fifth Season” is just one recent example that evaded all criticism when the same structure is going on. Nor should it get any! Jemisin did nothing wrong and her storytelling isn’t somehow deficient or “unfair” to the dead minor characters. The issue isn’t minor characters suffering so a protagonist gets to wallow/develop etc–there is nothing wrong with that. That’s how fiction works. The issue is too many books and movies are made by (straight) men, and rape is too real and present a horror in our lives, so naturally we see loads of straight men’s loved ones suffering and our perception becomes skewed. We need to look at this a little more smartly.

    I don’t have an issue on principle with telling this story (or characters being raped in fiction, though I prefer that happen offscreen, thanks), any more than stories about the Holocaust or murder. It’s a freaking injustice and a worthy topic (the more so because what this particular woman endured is an object lesson in crap justice). I do care that the story is told well, and I hate that those two doofi are anywhere near it (ick). This one belongs on the hands of wiser, preferably more local artists.

    PS Ridley Scott returning to a movie about duelling after all this time? He must have a thing for it…

  38. Ally says:

    Spoiler: The accused rapist Le Gris dies in the duel.

    The Wikipedia article on Jacques Le Gris really shows what the Boston Brahs found appealing, The story is: Act 1 – violent rape; Act 2 – men defined by strict hierarchical roles arguing about it in a series of courts while wearing cool GoT costumes; Act 3 – working out whether a rape occurred through a kewl sword-clanging Fight Club duel. The outcome means God has confirmed the lady’s story and she doesn’t have to be burned at the stake for ‘ruining’ a guy’s name.

    Matt and Ben wittingly or not imply this should be the standard for all rape accusations, and it will be used as a marker to that effect in hundreds of conservative sexist think pieces for years to come.

  39. Sidewithkids says:

    These two are so problematic.

  40. bears says:

    They should just save themselves some posturing and call this Not All Men.