THE LAST DUEL Star Matt Damon Talks About Choreographing The Final Battle; Plus New Featurette
Ridley Scott's The Last Duel opens this weekend, and we were recently able to hear Matt Damon talk about choreographing the film's jaw-dropping final battle, which sees him square off with Adam Driver.
The Last Duel has been hailed as one of this year's best films, utilizing a unique storytelling method that allows viewers to see the varying perspectives of Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon), Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver), and Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer) as they recount the moments preceding and immediately following a most horrific crime.
While we've seen the film and won't give away anything about what transpires, everyone should know by now that it ends with an epic clash - the last duel of the title - that sees Jean de Carrouges and Jacques Le Gris battle it out, the former seemingly fighting for his wife's honor while the latter fights to prove his innocence.
It's a remarkable sequence and among one of director Ridley Scott's finest moments on screen, but, according to writer/star Matt Damon, they learned that that the highly-documented duel wasn't exactly the most cinematic of occurrences while researching the story.
While attending the global press conference over the weekend, Damon explained to us how Scott was able to make a fight he describes as "decidedly uncinematic," into the film's most show-stopping sequence.
"In the book that we adapted, that Eric Jager wrote, he really meticulously explained the duel and exactly how it happened, because it was recorded in history. It was a very famous thing and, it was decidedly uncinematic because these guys were basically in heavy armor, they looked like giant tin cans. The only visible part was that they had these tiny eye slits in their helmets, and it would have been a really awkward affair and it wouldn’t have looked very good.
So, Ridley kept the bones of the duel. The duel did happen as is, three joust passes, then they came off their horses, they went to axes, swords, then daggers. That all is true. But, Rob Inch, our stunt coordinator, really invented this beautiful choreography with Ridley and they figured out how to shoot it and that’s the great thing about collaborating with great people, they just know how to make things great.
They still kept the spirit of the duel and exactly what really happened. The same person who won in history, won in our movie. Like, all of that stuff is the same and he actually did say that final line, that was the last thing he said.
All the dialogue is from the actual recorded event and, you know, with Ridley making it, it's a Ridley Scott duel, so we have visors where half our face is showing. It's beautiful and visually, we knew he would make it great."
Plus, check out this new featurette that takes you behind-the-scenes of the famous last duel:
“The Last Duel” is a gripping tale of betrayal and vengeance set against the brutality of 14th century France. A cinematic and thought-provoking drama set in the midst of the Hundred Years War, the film explores the ubiquitous power of men, the frailty of justice, and the strength and courage of one woman willing to stand alone in the service of truth. Based on actual events, the film unravels long-held assumptions about France’s last sanctioned duel between Jean de Carrouges and Jacques Le Gris, two friends turned bitter rivals.