EXCLUSIVE: Swords down! The Ridley Scott-directed 20th Century Studios period epic The Last Duel has been put on “indefinite hiatus,” days before shooting was to commence in Ireland. Sources said the cast has been told all this, and it is unclear when production will begin on a film that had been slated for Christmas Day release by Disney with an international rollout January 8.
They hope to keep that date; Scott is jumping right into the editing room to assemble the one-hour-plus amount of the film he shot over 4 1/2 weeks. This likely presages other moves from movie productions around the world that are being impacted by the global outbreak of COVID-19.
Most recently, after the government of Prague closed schools and placed other restrictions on event and travel, the Disney+ series The Falcon and The Winter Soldier from Marvel has shut down production there.
The Last Duel stars Matt Damon, Jodie Comer, Adam Driver and Ben Affleck. Based on Eric Jager’s novel, the script is by Damon, Affleck and Nicole Holofcener. The film has been shooting right along in France, before the planned move to Ireland.
Damon and Driver play best friends, the Norman knight Jean de Carrouges and the squire Jacques Le Gris. The former goes to war and returns to accuse Le Gris of raping his wife, Marguerite. No one will believe the woman, and the soldier appeals to King Charles VI of France to undo a decision handed down by Count Pierre d’Anencon, which favored Le Gris. The decision is that the two men fight a duel to the death. The one left alive would be declared the winner as a sign of God’s will. And if de Carrouges loses, his wife will be burned at the stake for punishment for her false accusation.
The Last Duel is produced by Scott, Holofcener, Kevin J. Walsh and Jennifer Fox. Executive producers are Affleck, Damon, Madison Ainley, Kevin Halloran and Drew Vinton.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.