Marine Vet Adam Driver Picks Up a Sword for ‘The Last Duel’

Adam Driver Last Duel
Adam Driver stars in "The Last Duel." (20th Century Pictures)

Marine Corps veteran and Oscar-nominated actor Adam Driver plays medieval squire Jacques Le Gris in Ridley Scott’s upcoming epic “The Last Duel.” The movie, based on a true story from the 14th century, will open in theaters on Oct. 15, 2021.

Le Gris is accused of rape by Marguerite de Thibouville (Jodie Comer from “Killing Eve”), the wife of the knight Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon), who also happens to be Jacques’ best friend. The men square off in what was the last legally sanctioned duel in French history.

Driver has built an impressive career in film and television since he enlisted in the Marine Corps after 9/11 and served almost three years in Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines as an 81mm mortar operator. After a breakthrough role on HBO’s series “Girls,” Driver went on to international fame as Kylo Ren in the “Star Wars” sequels.

20th Century Studios has just released its first trailer for “The Last Duel,” and Driver seems to be the most medieval guy in the movie.

The movie also stars Ben Affleck as Count Pierre d'Alençon. What are a couple of Boston boys doing in a movie about medieval France? Damon and Affleck (Oscar-winning screenwriters for “Good Will Hunting”) co-wrote the screenplay with Oscar-nominated writer Nicole Holofcener. All three are producers on the movie, so Damon gets an impressive mullet and Affleck an equally epic blonde wig to star in “The Last Duel.”

The movie is based on Eric Jager’s 2004 book, “The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France,” and raises serious questions about a society’s willingness to believe a woman who’s been sexually assaulted and whether men can define the crime as anything other than an assault on their egos.

Damon was interviewed on sports personality Bill Simmons’ podcast and said he and Affleck worked with Holofcener to ensure that all viewpoints were represented. “It’s really this movie about perspective, so Ben and I wrote the male perspectives and Nicole wrote the female perspective,” he said.

Scott has directed dozens of movies, including classics like “Black Hawk Down,” “Blade Runner,” “Alien” and “Thelma & Louise,” but he’s also shown a special talent for historical epics. “Gladiator” won the Oscar for Best Picture, “Exodus: Gods and Kings” is an underrated retelling of the biblical story of Moses and his director’s cut of Crusades epic “Kingdom of Heaven” is an overlooked classic.

Are moviegoers ready for a mud-caked visit to the past this fall? The trailer offers no clue as to who wins the duel, so don’t read the book and stay off Wikipedia if you’re planning to see “The Last Duel” when it arrives in theaters.

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