Ben Affleck And Matt Damon Explain Why They Didn’t Collaborate On Writing For Years And Why They Brought In A Third Partner For The Last Duel

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck seem like they're the kind of pair that can do no wrong together; I mean, on their first writing project together, Good Will Hunting, they won an Oscar, and the rest is pretty much history. The two stars went on to lead their own major films ten times over, but now they’ve written another movie together over 20 years later. Affleck and Damon have now explained why they hadn’t collaborated on writing again until The Last Duel, and why they brought in a writing partner on the new project.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck appeared together, along with The Last Duel co-writer Nicole Holofcener, in an interview on Entertainment Weekly’s Around the Table, to discuss their upcoming film. When asked why they would bring someone else in to help write the film, the pair heaped praise onto Holofcener, saying she could really make it good. Here’s what the two A-listers said exactly:

Matt Damon: She’s the best writer in the world...Ben Affleck: We wanted this to be good.Damon: We hadn’t written in a really long time. I think mostly because the first time, when we wrote Good Will Hunting we really didn’t know what we were doing. And it took a really long time. And I think both of us probably thought we would never have that much time again. We were unemployed...Affleck: Living together, not doing much. So we had a couple of years to make a bunch of mistakes.Damon: No deadline.Affleck: The goal was to get the work and then we started working and that was what we focused on. But we continued to collaborate and work together and show each other stuff. Then, this book came along, we found it… gave it to Matt, he gave it to me and we were both struck by this story of this incredible woman and what she did and her heroism. It just seemed so moving. Because a part of the story as conceived, trying to reveal the untold world of women that history didn’t record.

The two besties make it sound like Good Will Hunting was this fluke of a movie that they just happened to write because they had the time and they didn’t feel any pressure while writing it. This is actually insane, as it’s a film that skyrocketed both of their careers and is still a film that can make even the most secure tear ducts leak. Either Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are just that lucky, or they’re incredibly humble about their talents - my guess would be the latter.

Nicole Holofcener is known for writing Enough Said and Friends With Money. Her team-up with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck makes sense, seeing she is an established writer and, like the pair said, it has been decades since they’d written a film together. They also will star in the film as well, so having a writer who is not acting in the production must have value as well.

The Last Duel releases to theaters in just a few short weeks on October 15. It will have plenty of competition at the box office this October, but the long-awaited second team-up from Matt Damon and Ben Affleck could still strive to be an Oscar nominee - it's certainly something worth checking out!

Carlie Hoke
Content Writer

Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside.  While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.