It started as a hypothetical question, one of countless musings proposed by frequenters of the social news and conversation site. Soon, though, users at Reddit.com were enthralled by the equally hypothetical answer, and soon, Rome was hypothetically under siege.
Now, it's going to be a movie, nothing hypothetical about it.
Variety reports that Warner Bros has bought the rights to produce a film out of James Erwin's story, "Rome Sweet Rome," which began as a response to a Reddit pondering over whether a Marine unit could take down the entire Roman empire. The story, which Erwin will pen in screenplay form, brings a Marine Exploratory Unit to Rome in 23 BC, as a conspiracy to overthrow Caesar grows. They alter history, then have to put it back on track to return back to the present, where they were fighting in Afghanistan.
Erwin is an experienced writer, having penned encyclopedias and other manuals over the past decade. He received help and lots of ancillary material from Reddit users; as he told Screen Rant last month, as heat on the project was building, he feels quite lucky to be in this position.
"Here's the thing. I was very, very lucky to post what I did at the moment I did," he said. "It wasn't just the idea of coming up with just the right answer - if I'd posted the same text an hour later, everyone would already be bored with the question. They wouldn't have seen it and it wouldn't have blown up. So that was definitely a lightning-in-a-bottle situation."