Adapting stories based on true events for the big screen is always tricky, especially when there are multiple viewpoints to include. Co-writers Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Nicole Holofcener made sure to include these various perspectives in the script. As a result, some scenes in “The Last Duel” involve exchanges between characters being shown more than once, with the perspective shifting depending on who is recounting a particular set of events. Even though these people are part of the same conversation, they come away with different viewpoints.
Affleck commented that this was the trickiest part of filming “The Last Duel.” During the press conference, he explained, “The challenge, really, was — because we didn’t want to cheat at all, and have it be, ‘Oh, and from my point of view this whole other scene happens’ — really to try to create and reflect this phenomenon of the fact that two people can have a conversation, and you can ask each one of them, ‘What did you come away with?’ and they’ll genuinely tell you different things. They’ll have different experiences, and those experiences are oftentimes rooted in where they’re coming from, what their needs are, what their values are, and so forth.”
Damon also touched on this particular filming challenge and revealed how the cast made the varying perspectives clear. According to the actor, “We had written down, on the schedule, whose perspective we were in, always, but we would always say before we rolled, ‘This is my perspective,’ or ‘This is your perspective.’ We’d just remind each other because we had to totally calibrate everything based on that.”
“The Last Duel” arrives in theaters on October 15.