Community-based website Reddit has an ask reddit section wherein users can pose questions for other users (aka "redditors"). Redditor The.Quiet.Earth posed the question, "Could I destroy the entire Roman Empire during the reign of Augustus if I traveled back in time with a modern U.S. Marine infantry battalion or MEU?" In response, Prufrock451 (real name James Erwin) began writing a serialized story of this exact scenario. Madhouse Entertainment's Adam Kolbrenner caught wind of the story after it hit the reddit front page, helped develop the story further, and sold the idea to Warner Brothers. Now called Rome, Sweet Rome, here is an excerpt from the short story as it first appeared on reddit:
The Praetorians close another 15 miles. The pace is exhausting for the hastily scraped-up auxiliaries, but marching on fine roads near Rome, even under 100-pound packs, is child's play for a Praetorian, a man who has never known air-conditioning, never sat in a cushioned chair, never greeted tropical storms or arctic gales with anything but Stoic resignation because he has never had a choice - unlike the men of the 35th, whose tempers are fraying under the stress of their predicament and their utter isolation.
At 4 in the afternoon, with humid temperatures roasting American and Roman alike, a unit of 50 Roman cavalry in glittering metal armor appear on the horizon. Sergeant Alvin McCandless shouts to his men, who take up position behind a line of sandbags. M16A4s are trained on the Romans, and a SAW is locked and loaded - .50-caliber bullets. Within five seconds, enough firepower to annihilate a legion is concentrated on Fulvius Bassus and his men.
However, despite the project's innovative inception, RSW is no longer being developed on Reddit -- or in any social manner -- thanks to Warner's lawyers locking down the IP rights. Still, in an age of TV shows based on Twitter accounts, writing that gains some form of social proof on the internet is one new way of getting a foot in the door. Still, there's no guarantee the project will ever see the light of day, given the very nature of development hell, so if you're interested in the story itself, check out the full thread as it appeared on Reddit below.