In a rather odd turn of events, one Redditor is now a published Hollywood scriptwriter thanks to a single question was posted on Reddit in 2011:
Could a modern U.S. Marine infantry battalion destroy the entire Roman Empire during the reign of Augustus?
It’s a valid question, and it’s a pretty involved topic to answer at that. Who would win the battle? How many would die if it happened? Would the Roman Empire be able to keep up when pitted against modern weaponry? Would ranged weapons be a joke up against Roman weapons?
The related thread garnered nearly 4,000 comments, obviously thanks to the incredible potential behind the query. James Erwin, a military historian, started thinking about the topic and even sat down to write a novella about it. He published the story on a blog titled “Rome, Sweet Rome,” which itself garnered nearly 250,000 visitors.
The Financial Times reports that Erwin was approached by a Hollywood agent, and within less than a week he has signed a contract with Warner Bros. to write a screenplay based on his short story. Erwin also said that they offered him “a pretty obscene amount of money,” to do the work. Too bad he didn’t disclose how much money he was offered, as a writer myself I’d like to know what I can shoot for! I kid, I kid, I don’t imagine I’ll be approached by a Hollywood agent anytime soon.
Of course, the screenplay has been finished, and Erwin has since returned to his life as a technical writer. Interestingly enough, he’s also writing a novel. To help fund publication of his novel, Erwin is asking for help via a relatively new Kickstarter campaign.
Back on the subject of the screenplay, that’s some pretty crazy stuff. Who could have guessed that a simple Reddit post would inspire a Warner Bros. Hollywood film? Do you have what it takes to come up with a great idea for a movie? I’m sure a lot of us could come up with something that works better than most of these revamps coming out.