What if a modern Marine battalion went back in time to the Roman Empire? Could they kick every Roman's ass? This is the question that is answered in Rome Sweet Rome, a military science fiction story with an unusual genesis. It started just a month ago on the popular website Reddit as the answer to the idle 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?"
James Erwin decided to answer that question in the form of a narrative - almost like a script treatment - that found the 35th MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) suddenly, and without explanation, transported to the banks of the Tiber River in the year 23 BC. A war between the Marines and the forces of Caesar Augustus soon breaks out. The saga got hugely popular, with Reddit even opening a subforum dedicated to just it, and with fans making all kinds of fan art (like the movie poster above).
Erwin wrote about eight days worth of the story when all of a sudden Hollywood came calling. And now the deal is done: Warner Bros is picking up the concept, known as Rome Sweet Rome on Reddit (that name has to be changed, right?). They're making a movie out of a comment thread.
A pretty fucking cool, comment thread, truth be told. You can actually read the account of the MEU's first 8 days in ancient Rome in PDF form right here. Erwin writes about military history, so he knows his stuff. And this concept is a great, and hugely cinematic one. If the movie version just jumps into the time travel as Erwin did this could be a really, really awesome film.