independent

Monday 9 December 2019

Hollywood director visits Tintern ahead of 'Duel' shoot

The bridge at Tintern Abbey
The bridge at Tintern Abbey

David Looby

World famous movie director Ridley Scott is considering Tintern Abbey for the setting of his next film - a revenge tale starring Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

Scott arrived by helicopter late on Wednesday morning, landing in a field beside the abbey which had been strimmed to ensure a smooth landing.

The Gladiator and Alien films director is looking for a bridge upon which to shoot a major scene for his film 'The Last Duel', which is being produced by Fox.

The film is scheduled for limited release to American audiences on December 25, 2020, and looks set to open globally on January 8, 2021.

Scott previously visited Tintern Abbey's battlemented bridge in early October but the stormy weather that day wasn't ideal for him to assess its suitability so he decided on a return visit.

The director is considering either Tintern Abbey or Kells Priory in Kilkenny for the scene, which is likely to star either Affleck or Damon and possibly both.

Set in the 14th century, 'The Last Duel' is about a woman who claims she's been raped by her husband's best friend. But when no one believes her accusation, her husband challenges his friend to a duel, the last legally sanctioned duel in the country's history.

Scott spent around an hour at the site on Wednesday and the tearoom was opened specially for him and his crew. Jodi Comer, who recently won the Emmy for Best Actress in a Drama for 'Killing Eve', will play the female lead. Damon and Affleck will portray the dueling friends.

Damon and Affleck are reuniting to write the script along with Nicole Holofcener, an Oscar nominee for 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?' They are basing the script on the non-fiction book 'The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal and Trial by Combat in Medieval France' by Eric Jager.

Damon and Affleck's Pearl Street Productions are also producing the project alongside Scott Free Productions.

Scott last directed the story of the J. Paul Getty family kidnapping 'All the Money in the World' from 2017.

The project was previously announced but the studio confirmed it was greenlit last Friday.

There is great excitement locally about the prospect of Hollywood stars arriving in the abbey to shoot on the bridge which dates back to the 1700s.

The Office of Public Works are liaising with Pearl Street Productions and Scott Free Productions on the shoot which is likely to happen in January.

The scene Scott has in mind is a horseman crossing a wet, muddy old bridge and the fact that he has visited Tintern twice is leading to a growing sense of anticipating that a major scene in the film will be shot in Tintern. Any global exposure of this nature, especially if the abbey beside the bridge was featured in the scene, would provide a great boost to tourism.

Wexford People

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