So far it would seem that Disney has yet to greenlight The Duel, featuring Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, as well as Adam Driver. But if the Mouse House passes on this movie then it’s likely that it will be able to find a new home all the same since Ridley Scott is a huge reason why it would be seen as popular and worth the effort. It’s not every director or acting pair that would be able to simply go to anyone and be accepted or at least given the time of day since Scott, Damon, and Affleck are hard to say to no to, and Driver is one of the many actors in show business at the moment that would be hard to pass on. If Disney does say no then it would meant that they simply don’t see enough within the movie to really make the kind of mega money that they’re used to pulling in, or maybe another reason will arise if they feel the need. In any case the movie does seem destined to be a go no matter who ends up taking it as Joey Paur of GeekTyrant would agree with.
The movie is more or less about a knight that goes off to war and returns to hear that a squire raped his wife. Despite the dispute that is brought up as to the squire’s innocence the idea of a duel to ascertain just who is in the right was at that time considered a worthy contest, as well as trial, that would determine just who was telling the truth. The idea here that a squire could possibly beat a knight and how ridiculous this could be seems to indicate that justice was meant to favor the stronger, more skillful fighter with a higher place in society, or maybe that’s just my take on it. In any case knights were considered to be a great deal more skilled than squires and as such the latter could not possibly hope to overcome the former. As a revenge story this movie seems as though it might have something that people will want to see, but getting to the heart of it there is an idea that under many other directors it might actually get mishandled. Then again, putting it under Disney’s banner might do that. This is actually the first script that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have worked on together since Good Will Hunting according to Mike Fleming Jr. of Deadline, which could mean that it might actually carry quite a bit of weight since the two men came up with a great hit in GWH.
Unfortunately as Donna Dickens of SlashFilm has already stated there has been some backlash from this idea since the idea of two men fighting over the accusation of rape hasn’t settled well with various individuals. The furthering of issues between men based on the rape of a woman seems to be a serious backslide for some in an era when MeToo and TimesUp have both decided to show the misogyny that’s been rampant in Hollywood. Sadly this was bound to happen since no matter what people do in the name of fiction these days someone is bound to speak up and say something, no matter if they’re right in their presumption or not. Something will always offend someone, a story idea won’t sit well with some folks, and many will forget that the whole thing is fiction and take the idea to task since it’s not lined up with their way of thinking. It’s very true that the two men in this movie are fighting, in what would apparently be the final trial by combat in France, to ascertain the truth of a very serious matter. It’s not the best way to do things honestly, but in a society that seemed to value social class more than the truth at times it would seem that it was the only real way that people knew how to do things.
The funny thing about history is that it’s not kind, it’s not PC all that often, and people seem to forget this time after time, but definitely seem to want to erase all traces of it while stating that they’ll remember and won’t repeat it. This tale is one that obviously strikes a discordant tone in the minds of several people as the idea of men trying to defend their honor over the rape of a woman, which does sound horrible since it disregards the woman entirely, is something that seems less than effective. Even worse is the idea that if the knight loses, his wife will be burned at the stake for her false accusation, since the squire will have proved in the eyes of God that he’s innocent. Like it or not, tales such as this are important as they remind us that once upon a time human beings were even more savage than they can be now.