“The truth does not matter. There is only the power of men.” So begins the true story of the last officially sanctioned judicial duel in France’s history.
In 20th Century Studios’ newly released trailer, Oscar winner Matt Damon and Oscar nominee Adam Driver face off in this grand 14th-century clash.
Based on Eric Jager’s The Last Duel, Academy Award-nominated director Ridley Scott takes on this historical epic set during the Hundred Years’ War.
Yet the tale is more than bad haircuts and swords clashing.
The pair play friends-turned-bitter-foes after Driver’s character, Jacques Le Gris, a Norman squire, is accused of rape by Marguerite, the wife of respected knight Jean de Carrouges (Damon).
Despite the penalty for bearing false witness — being burned alive at the stake — Maguerite, played by Emmy winner Jodie Comer, refuses to stay silent, defiantly charging Le Gris with a vicious assault.
Adamantly denying the charge, Le Gris agrees to Carrouges’ challenge of a duel to death, with Driver stating, “one of us has lied, let God decide.”
The ensuing trial by combat is a grisly affair, with all three lives hanging in the balance.
“If you lose, your wife will suffer dire consequences,” Carrouges is warned in the trailer.
Based on a script by Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck, and Damon, the trio told Variety that “as we further explored the story, we found so many aspects of the formal, codified patriarchy of 14th century Western Europe to still be present in vestigial ways (and in some cases almost unchanged) in today’s society.
“We chose to use the device of telling the story from several character’s perspectives in order to examine the immutable fact that although often multiple people who experience the same event come away with differing accounts, there can only be one truth.”
In that sense, “The Last Duel” is more than two men locked in mortal combat, it is a panorama of a feudal society, depicting pride, love, and judgment in 14th-century France.
“The Last Duel” opens in theaters nationwide on October 15. Watch the trailer below: