A Comment on the Internet was Acquired by Warner Brothers

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.

Link: 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? - Reddit

[via Gizmodo]

Your Comment


sorta reminds me of a BADASS movie called 'the final countdown', about a modern aircraft carrier that goes thorugh a time warp to moments before pearl harbor. modern fighter planes vs. japanese zeros. hypothetical revenge fantasy, with a glossy 80s stink of course. glorious!

hope this one gets made too though. sounds fun!

October 19, 2011 at 5:42PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I wonder how all the reddit contributors are being/will be compensated for this? Or if at all? I'm not sure I like that Warner Brothers can come in and buy up an IP/comment tree??

October 20, 2011 at 6:29AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Sounds interesting. I'm a stickler for technical details being spot-on in any story or film. Otherwise the continuity falters and the audience-at-large loses confidence in the story, thereby unraveling the suspension of disbelief...Case in point: both the M4 ( what the author claims to be an M16a4) and the SAW fire 5.56mm (.223") projectiles, not .50 caliber. Come on writers! Get the facts straight so we can believe something that is impossible, if only for 90 minutes or so. :)

October 20, 2011 at 7:59AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


>>>>I’m a stickler for technical details being spot-on in any story or film<<<

That's pretty DEEP and a considerable loss of FUN if I'm going to a movie theater angry about the size of a bullet that is shot from a gun. Maybe if it's non-fiction ... but if I'm asked to suspend belief about TIME TRAVEL, trust me ... I don't care if the germans shoot a .I81u812 over a point-whocares. But to each his/her own.

The real issue is where Hollywood is trolling for concepts. This kind of news will get people filling out comments (like this one) with reams of storyline and that is a sucky way to get noticed.

@DV ... I thout Final Countdown was an awesome movie and it would show up on ABC Movie of the week back when I grew up. Thats the one where the guy got stuck there and when the carrier returned, he was there waiting for them older. Very cool. The problem with that film is they didn't engage the enemy really. They built up to it ... threatened ... but they were so bent out of shape about not changing time, nothing really went down. I think battle with Japanese.

October 20, 2011 at 12:46PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


This. Is-

Oh, wait, wrong era.

Anway, I'm enthused for this and also wary. Development Hell, as you've said, is a hell of a place to be.

October 20, 2011 at 2:21PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I hate hate hate being a literalist, but damn, it's annoying when writers talk about "bullets". They're cartridges! (Rounds, projectiles...etc...) And the "bullet" wouldn't be .50 caliber even if the SAW fired .50. The cartridge would be .50 cal...the "bullet" is significantly smaller.

I've got The Final Countdown in my Netflix queue right now. I can't help but think of Gob Bluth whenever I think of "the final countdown" now, though...

October 21, 2011 at 3:30AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Mista Toad

That idea is eerily similar to a comic book by Jonathan Hickman called Pax Romana that I'm pretty sure has been optioned somewhere. Pax Romana is good reading, and surprisingly thought-provoking science fiction, though...not just a Romans vs. modern-day Marines battlefest. Seriously, check it out if you're of the comic-reading persuasion.

October 21, 2011 at 8:23AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I thought exactly the same thing, Jordan. Reminds me of Pax Romana... (best comic book mini series in a long while) which I was hoping was going to turn into a movie.

October 23, 2011 at 6:29PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


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