The Last Duel is a 2021 historical action drama film directed by Ridley Scott from a screenplay by Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck, and Matt Damon, based on the 2004 book The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France by Eric Jager. Set in medieval France, the film stars Damon as Jean de Carrouges, a knight who challenges his former friend, squire Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) to a judicial duel after Jean’s wife, Marguerite (Jodie Comer), accuses Jacques of raping her. The events leading up to the duel are divided into three distinct chapters, reflecting the contradictory perspectives of the three main characters. Affleck also stars in a supporting role as Count Pierre d’Alençon.
An adaptation of Jager’s book was first announced in 2015, though it was not officially greenlit until July 2019. Affleck and Damon were confirmed as stars and co-writers that month, with Comer and Driver joining the cast later that year. Filming took place in France and Ireland from February to October 2020, with a hiatus of several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Last Duel premiered at the 78th Venice International Film Festival on September 10, 2021, and was theatrically released in the United States on October 15, 2021, by 20th Century Studios. The film received positive reviews from critics, who praised the performances of the cast and production values, and likened it to the Akira Kurosawa film Rashomon (1950). It was selected by the National Board of Review as one of the top ten films of 2021. However, it bombed at the box office, grossing only $30.6 million against a production budget of $100 million.