Killing Eve's own Villanelle, Jodie Comer, has entered talks to costar with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon in Ridley Scott's The Last Duel. Having already gotten her start with roles on TV series like My Mad Fat Diary and The White Princess, Comer has since become a much bigger name thanks to her turn on Phoebe Waller-Bridge's celebrated adaptation of Luke Jennings' Villanelle novels. Her terrific performance as Killing Eve's fascinatingly twisted assassin has brought Comer a whole lot of critical acclaim, and even won her an Emmy this past Sunday.
Fittingly, it appears that Comer has already settled on a major movie role to tackle next. The project in question, The Last Duel, is based on Eric Jager's book and tells the tale of two friends who battle one another in a duel in 14th century France, after one is accused by the other's wife of having raped her. Real-life pals Damon and Affleck will make their long awaited reunion in the film as the Frenchmen in question (Jean de Carrouges and Jacques LeGris), with Comer eying the role of Carrouges' wife, Marguerite.
According to Variety, The Last Duel has yet to be formally green-lit by the Disney-owned Fox. However, should it get the go-ahead as expected, the film will begin production in early 2020, with Scott directing from a screenplay that Affleck and Damon wrote with Nicole Holofcener (Can You Ever Forgive Me). Variety's sources indicate that Comer's casting as Marguerite would be a "sure thing" in that scenario.
With the right approach, The Last Duel could make for a powerful examination of timely issues through the lens of a period piece. The hope is that, with the Oscar-nominated Holofcener cowriting the script, the Marguerite character will have a role that's as substantial as those for her male counterparts, and The Last Duel won't be a story where a woman being allegedly assaulted is merely the plot device that fuels the conflict between two men. Certainly, the fact that the role was meaty enough to land Comer's interest following her Emmy win is promising, but that doesn't guarantee the execution will be equally up to snuff.
Fortunately, Scott has a track record of making films where women are either the clear-cut protagonists (Alien, Thelma & Louise) or play a major leading role in the narrative (Prometheus, All the Money in the World), which bodes well for Comer's potential turn in The Last Duel. The film itself is clearly being set up to serve as a contender in next year's awards season, between its highly relevant historical subject matter and talent on both sides of the camera. Whether it will live up to its potential, though, is another matter.
More on The Last Duel as the story develops.