06 November 2011

Rome Sweet Rome, a cool story going Hollywood

Picked this up over at The Miniature Page in the "Ancients" subforum last night and was pretty intrigued. The short backstory of the whole thing is that there is another forum called "reddit" where there was a discussion about whether a modern US Marine unit could wipe out the entire Roman Empire or something like that.

So one of the users took the idea and wrote a serious take on what would happen if a modern fighting unit somehow got thrown back in time and finding itself outside of Rome during the reign of Augustus Caesar. The writing only covered the early first days, how the army tries to grasp what the hell is going on, where they are and the slow realization of being in another time.

I highly recommend downloading the "beginning" of the story which can be found here or through the Screen Rant interview here . It is just 11 pages long, because the excitement this caused on the forum somehow spread to Hollywood and Warner Brothers bought the rights and are turning this one into a fullblown movie, the writer focusing on completing the screenplay and keeps the rest a secret.

The story itself is not original, there have been numerous movies of a superior force showing up and either beating up or being beaten up by a "low tech" enemy. Basically every alien invasion movie like Independence day and War of the Worlds, stuff like Final Countdown and Stargate. However, as I learned during my (wasted) time at filmschool - there are essentially only a handful of stories which themselves have a number of sub-plots (such as Man vs  Technology), these get recycled ad infinitum, the important thing is how the story is told and what it is filled with that makes it appealing and good.

Luckily this guy seem to write the story with a logical take on the situation, which bodes well if Hollywood won't rape his screenplay halfway through. It would be fantastic if the story went down the route of reality and took inspiration from the Conquistadors while keeping the alarming logistical situation of a modern army in mind all the way through.


  1. I saw this on Reddit when the guy first started posting it. One of the few non-pointless Reddit fads, which hopefully will turn into something more enduring.

    I think my favorite part is when they send their recon helicopters flying over the city, and the population go nuts praying to the gods etc... but the Roman general says "They're obviously machines, not creatures. We're being scouted by a new and strange enemy". People in the past weren't stupid, just because they were less technologically advanced...

  2. Yeah I liked that part as well as the part when Augustus visits their camp reacting with shock more to the diversity of races within the US army than their fighting machines - worried about a huge empire that has come to his doorstep.

  3. I saw the post on reddit when it first came up too! It was epic, I followed closely, refreshing hoping the guy would post the next piece :)

  4. Anatoli, I liked that too. It's definitely something a Roman would have (thought he) understood the significance of.


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