Matt Damon visited The Tonight Show and talked to Jimmy Fallon about the ease of the writing process with long-time friend and actor Ben Affleck on their upcoming film The Last Duel. This will be the first time the two have written together since their Oscar-winning work on Good Will Hunting. He shared with Jimmy Fallon how he and Affleck had come back together to write for the Ridley Scott directed film.
"It's the first movie we've written in 25 years or something, and we wrote with another great writer named Nicole Holofcener," Matt Damon told Fallon. "We saw it as a story of perspective, and so Ben and I wrote the male perspectives and Nicole wrote the female perspective."
Matt Damon elaborated further on that writing process while speaking to Entertainment Tonight, saying that he thinks he and Ben Affleck may "write a lot more in the future. I think we just found that having made... like making movies for 30 years, we actually learned something about structure along the way and the process went along a lot faster," he said. "And so I think we'll write a lot more in the future just because it didn't turn out to be as time-consuming as we thought. I think that writing process for Good Will Hunting was so inefficient," Damon explained. "You know, because we didn't really understand structure so we wrote thousands of pages."
"Back in the day, we didn't have deadlines because nobody cared what we were doing, no one was waiting for the script, we were unemployed, so we literally had nothing else to do," he said. Their process was inefficient because it could be. They would "just write different scenes," asking each other, "'Well, what if this happened?'" And then try to jam each other's scenes "into something that looked like a movie."
In their careers they have learned how to get a movie off the ground; they used a more structured approach, setting a schedule and making time for the project as they are normally expected in the industry. "Now we can build the time, it's a little more structured," The Last Duel star explained. "Like, alright, let's write from 10 to 2, you know, because we can drop the kids off and then we can pick the kids up."
The film is adapted from Eric Jager's novel 'The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France.' It recounts the story of Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon), a 14th-century knight who challenges his squire Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) to a duel after his wife (Jodie Comer) accuses Le Gris of raping her. Affleck, Harriet Walter, Nathaniel Parker, Sam Hazeldine, Michael McElhatton, and Alex Lawther also star. The Last Duel trailer was released online last week.
Originally, Ben Affleck was set to play the other lead in the film. However, Adam Driver was cast in taking over the leading role from Affleck who stepped aside into a supporting role instead, avoiding a scheduling conflict with the production of Adrian Lyne's Deep Water, in which Affleck is attached to star. The Last Duel premieres October 15, 2021. This news originated at The Hollywood Reporter.