When a notable film critic complimented Sir Ridley Scott’s ‘Last Duel’ as being “more realistic” than two of his previous historical epics, the grouchy filmmaker responded with a string of expletives.
“Sir, f**k you. F**k you. Thank you very much. F**k you. Go f**k yourself. Go on, sir. Go on,” was Scott’s response to Anton Dolin, when the critic remarked that ‘The Last Duel’ looked “more realistic” than his previous medieval oeuvre, specifically the crusader epic ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ (2005) or ‘Robin Hood’ (2010).
Scott had previously explained that, in adapting the tale of a trial by combat in medieval France, he had been trying not to “let art get in the way of the story” by “smother[ing]” the narrative with good-looking imagery.
The story is told from the perspective of not only the two knights but also the lady over whom they are fighting, whose version, Scott said, was the truth. However, despite its $100-million budget, the #MeToo-tinged film failed to impress at the box office, earning just under $11 million domestically and less than $19 million worldwide.
The 84-year-old director blamed the poor showing on “milennians” who were “brought up on these f**king cell phones” and refused to be “taught anything.”
Since launching his film career with ‘The Duellists’ (1977), Scott has delivered a number of blockbusters, including ‘Alien’ (1979), ‘Blade Runner’ (1982), ‘Gladiator’ (2000), and ‘The Martian’ (2015). His other 2021 release, ‘House of Gucci,’ has fared better commercially, making $38 million globally in its first week, against its $75-million budget.