Fresh off her Emmy win last Sunday for Killing Eve, Jodie Comer has secured a big movie role. She’s signed on to join Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in The Last Duel. Ridley Scott is directing while Nicole Holofcener has written the script.
The film was first reported back in July. Set in 14th century France, it revolves around a man who goes to war and returns to discover a friend has raped his wife. No one will believe the woman, so the soldier appeals to the king of France and says he wants to fight a duel to the death to decide the man’s fate. It becomes the last legally sanctioned duel in France.
As many have pointed out, does it feel like the right climate for powerful white men to tell a story about a woman’s sexual assault? Probably not. Holofcener’s presence is certainly a huge plus, but it’s a huge burden to ask her to put some nuance and empathy on this story.
It’s also perhaps a little disappointing that Comer has had to settle for a sexual assault role right after an Emmy win for Best Actress in a Drama Series.
Hopefully the role here is not just the long-suffering wife with little characterisation of her own. Many of these characters only exist in relation to the men they support. Holofcener has always written excellent characters in her own work (Enough Said, Can You Ever Forgive Me?), so let’s hope she does the same here.
We’ll wait for more news on The Last Duel and keep an open mind. Comer will next be seen in season three of Killing Eve. She’s also on board to star alongside Ryan Reynolds in the comedy Free Guy.