By Jessica Sager
Published July 23, 2019
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are collaborating with Ridley Scott and Oscar-winning screenwriter Nicole Holofcener on the upcoming "The Last Duel," and the project is already rubbing some fans the wrong way.
Based on the book "The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France," the film will reportedly depict the story of two best friends, Norman knight Jean de Carrouges and squire Jacques Le Gris. When Carrouges goes to war, he returns to learn that his wife accused Le Gris of raping her. After no one believes the woman, the court rules in favor of Le Gris.
After the decision is appealed, the men are ordered to fight to the death under the logic that whoever survives will have done so by God's will — and if Carrouges loses, his wife will be burned at the stake for her allegedly false accusation against Le Gris.
In light of the post-#MeToo era, Affleck, 46, and Damon, 48, came under criticism on social media after the project was first reported.
One user summarized most of the controversy, writing, "You mean Matt Damon who made s—y comments about the #MeToo movement and Ben Affleck who literally groped a young woman on TV and has helped and defended his sexual harasser of a brother? They're writing a script about a woman who was raped and will star in said movie?"
The tweet referenced several incidents that involved the stars, as well as Ben'as younger brother, Oscar winner Casey Affleck.
In October 2017, a video resurfaced of Ben grabbing then-MTV VJ Hilarie Burton's breast in 2003. Affleck has since apologized for the incident. Affleck was also accused of groping makeup artist (and wife of comedian John Mulaney) Annamarie Tendler at a Golden Globes party in 2014.
Damon, meanwhile, hasn't been accused of actual sexual misconduct of any kind, but faced a slew of backlash after he made comments about working with men who'd been accused within the context of the #MeToo movement and saying that men who aren't sexual predators should be spoken about more often.
Casey was accused of sexual harassment in 2010 on the set of "I'm Still Here" and was hit with two civil lawsuits stemming from the allegations. He said in 2018 that neither side from the case is able to discuss the details of what happened, but told The Boston Globe, “I believe that any kind of mistreatment of anyone for any reason is unacceptable and abhorrent, and everyone deserves to be treated with respect in the workplace and anywhere else.”
He added, “There’s really nothing I can do about it. Other than live my life the way I know I live it and to speak to what my own values are and how I try to live by them all the time.”
Ben and Damon both also came under fire for their close ties to Harvey Weinstein; Ben donated all money earned from his work with the disgraced producer.
Some more reactions below:
A rep for Affleck did not comment. A rep for Damon did not respond to Fox News' request for comment.