Last Duel, The: World Premiere (Venice Fest 2021)

Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck Arrive in Venice for ‘The Last Duel’ World Premiere

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck arrived in Venice on Thursday, ahead of Friday’s world premiere of Ridley Scott’s historical epic The Last Duel.

The couple landed at Venice airport. Their arrival puts to rest weeks of speculation around whether or not the couple would attend the film festival together and make their first major red carpet debut since reuniting.

Lopez and Affleck, who are together known as “Bennifer,” had been set to get married in 2003, but postponed their wedding before calling off their relationship. They started dating again a few months ago, after she separated from Alex Rodriguez in April.

Affleck stars in “The Last Duel” alongside Matt Damon, Adam Driver and Jodie Comer. The screenplay is by Nicole Holofcener, Affleck and Damon, based on the book by Eric Jager. The film is produced by Scott, Kevin J. Walsh, Jennifer Fox, Holofcener, Damon and Affleck.

“The Last Duel” is a tale of betrayal and vengeance set against the brutality of 14th century France. Based on actual events, the pic “unravels long-held assumptions about France’s last sanctioned duel between Jean de Carrouges and Jacques Le Gris, two friends turned bitter rivals,” according to press notes distributed by the Walt Disney Company.

The story centers on an accusation by Marguerite de Carrouges (Comer), the wife of Jean de Carrouges (Damon), that Le Gris (Driver) sexually assaulted her. The fate of all three must be decided in a duel to the death.

“We found so many aspects of the formal, codified patriarchy of 14th century Western Europe to still be present in vestigial ways (and in some cases almost unchanged) in today’s society,” Affleck commented in the press notes. “We wanted to examine how institutions, acculturation and social norms had, and continue to have, such a profound effect on who is believed.”

Filming of “The Last Duel” took place in numerous locations in France and Ireland last year. The director of photography was Dariusz Wolski; the production designer was Arthur Max; the editor was Claire Simpson; the costume designer was Janty Yates; and the composer was Harry Gregson-Williams.

Affleck commented: “It was really exciting for me to see Ridley’s very distinctive shooting style, which involves multiple cameras capturing all of the action in two parts, but it felt simultaneous. There was an incredible amount of energy present depending on where the cameras were pointing. You didn’t know when you were going to be on camera and when you weren’t, which created a sense of urgency and immediacy that was really great.”

Scott is the recipient of the Cartier Glory to the Filmmaker award of the festival, “dedicated to a personality who has made a particularly original contribution to the contemporary film industry.” The award ceremony will take place on Friday in the Palazzo del Cinema, before the screening of “The Last Duel.”