Could Matt Damon and Ben Affleck be teaming up for a new project?
Deadline.com reported Monday that the old friends — and Oscar winners — may join forces on “The Last Duel,” based on the 2004 novel by Eric Jager and set in medieval France. Hollywood powerhouses, including Ridley Scott and Nicole Holofcener, look to be coming on board the project as well.
The script, per Deadline, is being penned by Damon, Affleck, and Holofcener, who snagged an Oscar nomination for best adapted screenplay for 2018’s “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” Scott, who last worked with Damon on the critically acclaimed sci-fi thriller “The Martian,” is poised to direct.
The news comes not long after paparazzi snapped Damon leaving Affleck’s Brentwood, Calif., home on Sunday with a copy of “The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France” in his hands.
Damon and Affleck, who grew up as neighbors in Cambridge, famously co-wrote and starred in 1997’s “Good Will Hunting,” taking home the Academy Award for best original screenplay while still in their twenties. Deadline reports that the duo are set to star in the movie.
Don’t expect quippy “How do you like them apples?” banter between the two leads this time around. “The Last Duel” is a harsh and taut tale, based on a true story, of two friends, Jean de Carrouges and Jacques LeGris, who turned bitter enemies in 14th-century France.
When Carrouges accuses LeGris of brutally raping his wife, it is determined that the scandal will be settled with a duel to the death — trial by combat — before French King Charles VI and thousands of spectators. (The outcome was believed to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused.)
If it all lines up, the project could be a home run, given the high-profile players involved. Beyond the writing and acting talent involved, Scott is a master of tight and suspenseful direction, having helmed “Alien,” “Blade Runner,” and a little historical drama called “Gladiator,” which took home five Oscars, including best picture in 2000.
Hayley Kaufman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.