Matt Damon is opening up about working once again with longtime friend Ben Affleck on their upcoming film The Last Duel. The film, which stars the two actors, marks the first time the two have written on a major project together since their Oscar-winning work on Good Will Hunting in 1997. Speaking on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Damon said he and Affleck were able to jump back in while adding a new creative partner.
"It's the first movie we've written in 25 years or something, and we wrote with another great writer named Nicole Holofcener," Damon told Fallon. "We saw it as a story of perspective, and so Ben and I wrote the male perspectives and Nicole wrote the female perspective." The Martian actor expanded on the experience to Entertainment Tonight last week, saying he thought he and Affleck would "write a lot more in the future."
"I think we just found that having made... like making movies for 30 years, we actually learned something about structure along the way and the process went along a lot faster," he explained to the publication. "And so I think we'll write a lot more in the future just because it didn't turn out to be as time-consuming as we thought. I think that the writing process for Good Will Hunting was so inefficient," Damon explained. "You know because we didn't really understand structure so we wrote thousands of pages."
Damon explained that back when they were writing Good Will Hunting, there were no deadlines for the unemployed writing duo "because nobody cared what [they] were doing." With nothing else to do, Damon said they would "just write different scenes," asking each other, "'Well, what if this happened?'" before trying to turn those scenes "into something that looked like a movie."
Since finding success in Hollywood, there's a more structured approach to their creativity, Damon explained: "Like, alright, let's write from 10 to 2, you know, because we can drop the kids off and then we can pick the kids up." The Last Duel is adapted from Eric Jager's book The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France and tells the story of Jean de Carrouges (Damon), a 14th-century knight who challenges his squire (Adam Driver) to a duel after his wife (Jodie Comer) accuses him of sexually assaulting her. Affleck, Harriet Walter, Nathaniel Parker, Sam Hazeldine, Michael McElhatton, and Alex Lawther also star in the film.