Ben Affleck and Matt Damon Explain Why Good Will Hunting 'Put Us Off Writing' Together For Years
On Wednesday, the actors appeared on The Tonight Show together alongside director and screenwriter Nicole Holofcener to discuss their latest film, The Last Duel. During the show, Damon, 51, told host Jimmy Fallon that doing another film with Affleck, 49, took so long to happen because of past precedent set by Good Will Hunting 25 years ago.
"Good Will Hunting took us so long. We were like unemployed, broke guys. It took us forever to write that screenplay. I think we wrote thousands and thousands of pages," Damon explained. "We didn't really know what we were doing and I think that kind of put us off writing again because we never thought we'd have the time."
"I think we found writing [The Last Duel] that we actually kind of picked up structure over the last 25 years of making movies so it went a lot faster," he added, before praising the help from Holofcener. "And then we also made the really good decision of getting a great writer to come with us."
All the hard work paid off, and the 1997 film scored Damon his first Oscar nomination for acting. The friends also shared a win for Best Original Screenplay, with Affleck becoming the youngest to win in the category and Damon, the second youngest.
"You wouldn't imagine that those two idiots would still be around," Affleck joked on The Tonight Show while reflecting on a photo from the movie premiere.
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According to the actor, he and Damon originally wrote Good Will Hunting to produce an acting reel to show casting directors for other jobs, noting that they were actually "shocked" that it was ultimately released.
Now, the stars are excited to have fans see them team up again in The Last Duel.
Based on the book The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France by Eric Jager, the film follows two best friends, the knight Jean de Carrouges (Damon) and the squire Jacques LeGris (Adam Driver) who battle each other after Carrouges wife, Marguerite (Jodie Comer) accuses LeGris of raping her. The battle is overseen by Count Pierre d'Alençon, played by Affleck.
Earlier this year, Damon told Entertainment Tonight earlier this year that he had Affleck had "a lot of fun" writing the film together, alluding to the possibility that they might do it again soon in the future.
"I think we'll write a lot more in the future just because it didn't turn out to be as time-consuming as we thought,' he told ET.
The Last Duel hits theaters on Oct. 15.