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The Not-So-Easy Guide to Becoming a Screenwriter
March 21, 2012 8:32 AM   Subscribe

How One Response to a Reddit Query Became a Big Budget Flick: "Now, in response to The_Quiet_Earth’s question about time-traveling marines, Erwin started typing. He posted his answer in a series of comments in the thread. Within an hour, he was an online celebrity. Within three hours, a film producer had reached out to him. Within two weeks, he was offered a deal to write a movie based on his Reddit comments. Within two months, he had taken a leave from his job to become a full-time Hollywood screenwriter." posted by marcusesses (163 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
ARGH
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:34 AM on March 21, 2012 [22 favorites]


So clearly the path to success is to write as many comment fables on the internet as possible.



ON IT.
posted by The Whelk at 8:35 AM on March 21, 2012 [19 favorites]


Damn. Yeah, I meant to link to this. Can a mod maybe get fixy on this please? Sorry everyone :S
posted by marcusesses at 8:37 AM on March 21, 2012


He only took a LEAVE from his job? Pussy.
posted by spicynuts at 8:38 AM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]



But it's not even a new concept....
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:39 AM on March 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Considering the amount of hashing out the story we did here on metafilter, I think we all deserve a story credit.
posted by The Whelk at 8:43 AM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Had the same thought as Pogo. But these days Hollywood loves to finance movies about the marines.
posted by steinsaltz at 8:46 AM on March 21, 2012


But it's not even a new concept....

Heh, you think Hollywood is interested *stifled giggle* in new concepts? Ha. He he he... *snort* (burst of uncontrolled laughter)
posted by Maaik at 8:46 AM on March 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


He only took a LEAVE from his job? Pussy. -- "Don't quit your day job."
posted by crunchland at 8:47 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


SPOILERS: it ends in slashfic.
posted by Artw at 8:48 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


All things eventually become slashfic
posted by The Whelk at 8:48 AM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


But it's not even a new concept....

I was thinking more of Janissaries.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:50 AM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I do want to see the guy's pitch for someone who switches sides during the Mexican War. Maybe the reporter got it wrong and it was supposed to be about the Irish who fought for Mexico.
posted by steinsaltz at 8:50 AM on March 21, 2012




Yeah I am pretty sure some (educated and well-written) dude on the internet did not get picked up by a producer because he had a radical new idea that might not pan out. This is closer to "okay but what if the cowboys fought aliens?"
posted by griphus at 8:52 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


But it's not even a new concept....

As it was once put by a seedy, medium deal producer to a writer friend of mine. "Why do people call things cliche? Because they've seen them many times before. Why have they seen them many times before? Because they work. Now stop being a baby and make the changes."

The movie never got made.
posted by philip-random at 8:54 AM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


what if the aliens fought the Romans?
posted by The Whelk at 8:55 AM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Business plan:

1) Become literary agent specializing in website comments.
2) ???
3) $$$!
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:58 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Someone needs to clue those hollywood types into sonascope's posting history. There's at least a trilogy there.
posted by headnsouth at 8:59 AM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


robocop is bleeding: ARGH

Apparently, our witty comments are lost on MetaFilter.

Now Reddit will see an influx of wanna-be movie writers, posting elaborate comments.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:59 AM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Whelk: what if the aliens fought the Romans?

Are we talking in the vein of Cowboys vs Aliens where the aliens are menacing, or Mars Attacks, where one dude can take on 100 aliens and punch them all to death?


headnsouth: Someone needs to clue those hollywood types into sonascope's posting history. There's at least a trilogy there.

I don't think Hollywood execs will turn to the internets for the new dramas. sonascope should go straight for the book deal.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:02 AM on March 21, 2012


Here's a good one:

What if George III had succeeded in getting Catherine the Great to loan him 25k Russian soldiers to fight the insurgents in America? Go.
posted by spicynuts at 9:03 AM on March 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


ideally there would be more places for me to get delicious homemade vareniki then
posted by elizardbits at 9:06 AM on March 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


Harry Turtledove is crying.
posted by crunchland at 9:07 AM on March 21, 2012 [15 favorites]


But it's not even a new concept....
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt


God, I love The Final Countdown, even though it's pretty much a Navy recruiting film. It's easily in my top 10 favorite SF movies.
posted by COBRA! at 9:07 AM on March 21, 2012


I've got some snark that hollywood could weaponize and market if they're interested. Buckets of it.
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:09 AM on March 21, 2012


Damn, all I got was a stupid reality TV show.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:09 AM on March 21, 2012


Okay, Hollywood producers who may be lurking.

Robogiraffe is an in-your-face wazzup cybernetic even-toed ungulate mammal who solves mysteries with the help of a multi-cultural band of Disneyesque tweeners and their talking moon van. $$$
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:10 AM on March 21, 2012 [21 favorites]


What if George III had succeeded in getting Catherine the Great to loan him 25k Russian soldiers to fight the insurgents in America? Go.

An entire planet resembling Miss Havisham's mansion.
posted by griphus at 9:10 AM on March 21, 2012


Steve Stirling is thinking about who he can sue. Or punch in the nose.
posted by bonehead at 9:10 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


It always seemed to me that the most interesting aspect of the time-travel scenario is not how the Marines conquer Augustan Rome (because of course they do; it's their fight to lose), but just what the hell they do with it once it's theirs. Particularly as you get closer to A.D. 33: what is the new ruling class of militaristic American Christians going to do to Judaea?
posted by Iridic at 9:10 AM on March 21, 2012 [14 favorites]


I'm right here Hollywood! Right here!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:12 AM on March 21, 2012


Harry Turtledove is crying.

Good. He still deserves it for In The Presence Of Mine Enemies.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:13 AM on March 21, 2012


Harry Turtledove is crying.

Maybe we're just like the Romans
They're never under-armed.
Why do we fight with each other?
This is what it sounds like when Turtledove cries.
posted by griphus at 9:13 AM on March 21, 2012 [20 favorites]


Where's the POL? tank treads? Tires? reloads? Helicopter parts, tools to repair helicopters, cars, trucks, weapons? Oil for firearms?

They would be overwhelmed eventually.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:14 AM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]




I remember that post and couldn’t even work up enough interest to read it, and still can’t. Who’d have guessed it would have led to something that good for someone? On a side note, part of the reason I couldn’t read it was that it was Reddit, I have nothing against the site, I simply can’t read it. Something about the formatting. It might as well be a foreign language.
posted by bongo_x at 9:17 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


What if the aliens picked apples and apricots?
posted by hexatron at 9:17 AM on March 21, 2012


They would be overwhelmed eventually.

Why do you hate America?
posted by spicynuts at 9:18 AM on March 21, 2012


I like the part where all the Marines, never having been vaccinated against smallpox, get really sick and most of them die of the disease shortly after arriving in the past.

cause thats what i said in the original thread and I am consternated
posted by Xoebe at 9:19 AM on March 21, 2012 [9 favorites]


What if George III had succeeded in getting Catherine the Great to loan him 25k Russian soldiers to fight the insurgents in America? Go.

Is that with AK-47s?
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:19 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought these guys did a lot better with the scenario than Reddit did.
posted by bukvich at 9:19 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, what if, instead of a modern army, they were Spanish conquistadors, and instead of a Roman Army, they were the Aztecs?
posted by crunchland at 9:22 AM on March 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


time-traveling marines

Sengoku Jietai

what if the aliens fought the Romans?

You can't just steal ideas from Ancient Aliens, that crazy guy with the huge hair will sue you
posted by Hoopo at 9:23 AM on March 21, 2012


Jonathan Hickman's Pax Romana is probably my favorite iteration of this idea.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 9:23 AM on March 21, 2012


I thought we settled on this answer awhile ago, if you go back in time you invent brandy and live like a king.
posted by The Whelk at 9:24 AM on March 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think you guys are jealous.
posted by swift at 9:24 AM on March 21, 2012



I think you guys are jealous.


NOT FOR LONG! I've got like 8 message boards open right now...
posted by spicynuts at 9:28 AM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I thought we settled on this answer awhile ago, if you go back in time you invent brandy scotch and live like a king.

FTFY, although I suppose we could settle this by saying you go back and invent all the distilled beverages.
posted by madcaptenor at 9:28 AM on March 21, 2012


You can't just steal ideas from Ancient Aliens, that crazy guy with the huge hair will sue you

I'm a huge, huge Ancient Aliens fan. I also just watched the "Ancient Astronauts" episode of NatGeo's Is It Real (ca. 2007) and he has normal hair and is only a little bathshit. It's the weirdest fucking thing; like he's some sort of crackpot Samson.
posted by griphus at 9:29 AM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Xoebe: "I like the part where all the Marines, never having been vaccinated against smallpox, get really sick and most of them die of the disease shortly after arriving in the past.

cause thats what i said in the original thread and I am consternated
"

Don't they vaccinate GI's with everything when you enlist? If smallpox was to come back you would want your military immune already.
posted by wcfields at 9:30 AM on March 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Xeobe: American armed services require smallpox vaccines for anyone serving in the Middle East.
posted by absalom at 9:30 AM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have to assume Harry Turtledove is weeping somewhere, possibly into a pile of books with bad photoshop covers.
posted by Artw at 9:31 AM on March 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Damnit, Crackpot Samson is the title of my screenplay!

( Knicks stack of paper into trash)
posted by The Whelk at 9:31 AM on March 21, 2012


Pogo_Fuzzybutt: "But it's not even a new concept...."

..or new
posted by stbalbach at 9:31 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought we settled on this answer awhile ago, if you go back in time you invent brandy and live like a king.

No, no, no...It's go back in time, conquer them with SHOWTUNES!


5-6-7-8!...
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:37 AM on March 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Maybe MeFi could crowd-fanfic a sequel to The Final Countdown
With the plot this time being a 2012 US carrier battlegroup goes back in time to win 'Nam or something
posted by Bwithh at 9:37 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like the part where all the Marines, never having been vaccinated against smallpox, get really sick and most of them die of the disease shortly after arriving in the past.

Nah, they'd probably die of something much less showy than smallpox. Probably the first visit to a bath complex would do it. Or the first use of the communal bum sponge in a Roman toilet.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 9:39 AM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


How does he solve the problem of supply?
posted by adamdschneider at 9:39 AM on March 21, 2012


Iridic: I think that's a great concept. I'd like to see the story of two time-traveler-descended factions fighting over what to do with Jesus as well as renegade Americans who have set themselves up as the new Caligula, like in that old Star Trek episode with the televised gladiator games--stuff like that.
posted by steinsaltz at 9:40 AM on March 21, 2012


Metafilter: Communal Bum Sponge
posted by spicynuts at 9:40 AM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I liked the purposal in the other thread where the Welsh take over the world.
posted by The Whelk at 9:43 AM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


oh man will people please go favorite my ST:TNG movie idea?
posted by neuromodulator at 9:44 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I liked the purposal in the other thread where the Welsh take over the world.

"Welcome to Wyrthgllgjhdgshgtheblragth," the Captain sneers before punching the time traveling hero in the face.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:47 AM on March 21, 2012 [19 favorites]


Wales is the last stronghold of the Llogior.
posted by Artw at 9:50 AM on March 21, 2012


"An asteroid impact has caused an extinction-level event on the planet Earth. An area the size of Wales was effected."
posted by griphus at 9:51 AM on March 21, 2012


Yeah. My cat-scan.com movie went straight to video. Don't quit your day job.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:55 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm having fun imagining what kind of bastard US marine-Roman culture their kids will adopt.

and yes, the god of marines, FVCKIN-A.
posted by The Whelk at 9:56 AM on March 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Is this the 21st century version of being discovered at a Hollywood soda counter?
posted by octobersurprise at 9:57 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


How does he solve the problem of supply?

By ignoring it and not knowing anything about actual warfare.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:58 AM on March 21, 2012


Also, if anyone wants to get in on the ground floor of a shitload of money, the gay porn parody version of this will probably be the best-selling pornographic film of all time.
posted by griphus at 10:00 AM on March 21, 2012 [9 favorites]


Dammit I've pitched at least two rom coms and an action movie and ain't got jack to show for it.
posted by ND¢ at 10:00 AM on March 21, 2012


Seriously though, kudos to the guy. I was impressed that he could hash out his little fantasy of what would happen if, etc. (I mean, the suicide of the chaplain on Day whatever? Right.) It's a solid enough effort, and it shows the guy is capable of turning a detailed plot overview in a tight timeframe.

I'm sure that the studio is looking at this as some sort of franchise that can go in different directions. I mean, it can be a time travelling unit that gets stuck in different time frames trying to find its way back to the present (like Batman) that happens to span a trilogy (which if very successful will spawn a fourth movie where our GIs get stuck ... in the future!). Or, it can be a series of tangentially movies with the same premise and same mythology but are technically independent flicks (kind of like the Saw movies or the more recent Alien movies).

I hope it works out for him. If it means that the studios will pay more attention to internet forums for movie pitches instead of their current dysfunctional system, it can't be a bad thing.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:01 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


the gay porn parody version of this will probably be the best-selling pornographic film of all time.

No Spartacus : Blood and sand already exists.
posted by The Whelk at 10:02 AM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah the Chaplin committing suicide was ..eeeeh? More like "desperately trying to get your one Latin-speaker to not run off to the Holy Lands at the drop of a hat."
posted by The Whelk at 10:03 AM on March 21, 2012


By ignoring it and not knowing anything about actual warfare.

Heh, perfect for Hollywood, then.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:03 AM on March 21, 2012


The better fucking make Islands in the Sea of Time first. Assholes.
posted by lydhre at 10:04 AM on March 21, 2012


If it means that the studios will pay more attention to internet forums for movie pitches instead of their current dysfunctional system, it can't be a bad thing.

I don't know, it doesn't sound all that different.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:08 AM on March 21, 2012


A trope of court dancers in Constantinople during the reign of Justinian The First gets sent back to the time of Darius II in Persia.
posted by The Whelk at 10:10 AM on March 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


WHOOPS
posted by griphus at 10:11 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have great idea for a film that involves the founding fathers, Idi Amin, Will Ferrell and a cute robot in a farting contest in a bordello in the year 1886. Interested producers can send wheelbarrows of cash to me via my profile.
posted by Mcable at 10:12 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I mean, the problem isn't where they get their ideas from, it's which ideas they choose to fund. When that doesn't matter anymore (i.e. when there's no longer a massive funding gatekeeper) you'll see changes.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:13 AM on March 21, 2012


Hmm. That sounds good, but we'll have to make some minor changes based on the demographics we're going after. Can we make it the crew of Christopher Columbus, Nicolae Ceaușescu, Ben Stiller and a diminutive dinosaur in a burping contest at a casino in 1850? Also, it's going to have to be a pick-up truck full of feces, we hope that's okay.
posted by griphus at 10:15 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


A Kentucky postmaster during the Millard Fillmore administration is transported back to the final days of the Van Buren administration! Can he save William Henry Harrison from incipient pneumonia?
posted by Iridic at 10:17 AM on March 21, 2012 [13 favorites]


> Here's a good one:

What if George III had succeeded in getting Catherine the Great to loan him 25k Russian soldiers to fight the insurgents in America? Go.


Here's a better one: What if Catherine the Great had killed her idiot husband before he indulged his childlike enthusiasm for Frederick the Great, withdrew from the anti-Prussia coalition, and allowed Frederick to emerge triumphant from the Seven Years War when he had been totally defeated? The Kingdom of Prussia would have reverted back to being Brandenburg, a third-rate landlocked German state, and there would have been no powerhouse Germany, no First or Second World War, no Hitler. Go!
posted by languagehat at 10:19 AM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Whelk: "No Spartacus : Blood and sand already exists."

Yes, but adding gay Marines from 2012 to it would make it even better. Even sodomy can be improved upon. We might just have a lot to teach them.

(No, I'm not giving this too much thought. Not at all.)

But onto the topic at hand, good for this guy. He seemed like an okay guy who realized the dumb luck nature of his shot to 'fame' back in the original thread and this article does nothing to make him seem otherwise. I hope it works out for him and that the movie is a good one.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:22 AM on March 21, 2012


It's a good thing L. Sprague de Camp is dead, because this would just kill him.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:28 AM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Could one pretzel-bread Hot Pocket destroy the entire Roman Empire if it traveled back in time?
posted by chinston at 10:50 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


MY NAME IS BILLIONAIRE J. FILMPRODUCER AND I AM GREENLIGHTING EVERY CONCEPT IN THIS THREAD.
posted by Spatch at 10:59 AM on March 21, 2012 [13 favorites]


(His birth name was Baruch J. Filmproduzentberg)
posted by griphus at 11:03 AM on March 21, 2012 [16 favorites]


The Kingdom of Prussia would have reverted back to being Brandenburg, a third-rate landlocked German state, and there would have been no powerhouse Germany, no First or Second World War, no Hitler. Go!

WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH AMERICA?????
posted by spicynuts at 11:06 AM on March 21, 2012


Ok, fine:

What if God had rested on the fifth day and while lounging had decided to invent the martini, went on a giant fucking 2 day bender and then on Day 7 was so hungover that all the bug fixing and patch builds he intended to release never got finished and by the time the hangover was done he didn't have the energy any more and just said fuck it.
posted by spicynuts at 11:07 AM on March 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


...no powerhouse Germany, no First or Second World War, no Hitler. Go!

Sweden regains some influence in European politics, Russia retains a nice bite of East Prussia, and Austria, the big winner, regains Silesia. France still loses Canada and most of its other colonies to Britain; but without the fear of Prussian invasion to force concessions, it keeps the eastern part of French Louisiana for a few decades more. The eventual United States expands comparatively slowly, picking up a markedly Gallic cultural influence as it does.

The Habsburgs enjoy the historical momentum for a time. Once Joseph II comes to power, he's better able to promulgate his reforms - there are no Prussian agents to agitate against them. After he dies peacefully in 1820, his son, Emperor Rudolf III, grants full citizenship to Jews, embarks on a massive building campaign, and begins to lay plans for reorganization of the Holy Roman Empire as a rational German state. Russia and Bourbon France are hardly pleased...
posted by Iridic at 11:14 AM on March 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


Spicynuts: He'd release the Skyrim Creation Kit.
posted by crunchland at 11:17 AM on March 21, 2012


But not Half-Life 3, because let's not get crazy here.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:17 AM on March 21, 2012


Yeah the Chaplin committing suicide was ..eeeeh? More like "desperately trying to get your one Latin-speaker to not run off to the Holy Lands at the drop of a hat."

No, no, no. The Chaplin commits suicide because the Keaton keeps dropping his hat. How those two also end up in ancient Rome is a bit of a puzzlement, but maybe if this thing ever got spun off into its own series, like StarGate, the Time Maw could just be this thing that periodically spits anachronisms out to liven things up.

Next week, flinty old Sergeant Major McGrew finds love in the arms of SPUNKY AVIATRIX AMELIA EARHART

Next week, fresh-faced Lance Corporal Watkins races against time to bring back a rare plant the medics could use to CURE AL CAPONE OF SYPHILIS (because he's brought along some new guys with heaters!)

posted by mph at 11:24 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


What, none of you guys' comments have been optioned as screenplays? I got this comment green-lit. Coming in May 2013, The Karate Kid in: Wreck Center Follies, starring Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan, Benedict Cumberbatch as Joey Ramone, Joseph Kony as Apollo Creed, and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin as President Obama.
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 11:29 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


desperately trying to get your one Latin-speaker to not run off to the Holy Lands at the drop of a hat.

He's going to be awful confused when he gets there and finds most people speaking Greek and Aramaic.

YEAH I SAID IT! YOUR MOVE MEL GIBSON!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:51 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


it's like a Twilight zone episode
posted by The Whelk at 11:54 AM on March 21, 2012


What if the aliens fought the Ramones?
posted by Renoroc at 12:02 PM on March 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


Beat
Beat
Beat on the gray
Beat on the gray with an ice cube tray
Oh yeah!
posted by griphus at 12:03 PM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rock
Rock
Rock
Rock
Rock
Rock n' Roll Mothership!
posted by The Whelk at 12:05 PM on March 21, 2012


it's like a Twilight zone episode

What do sparkly vampires have to do with this?

I'll see my way to the exit...
posted by Mister Fabulous at 12:10 PM on March 21, 2012


Pshaw. My Karate Kid movie has gravitas. (reference)

Daniel-san LaRusso is now a middle-aged used car salesman. During the first scene, you discover that his best friend and coworker is ... Johnny Lawrence.

Daniel, having lost contact with his old Karate lifestyle, finds out that Mr. Miyagi has died. He has to travel back to Fresno after learning that he is named in Mr. Miyagi's will. He and Johnnie travel to Fresno to learn that Mr. Miyagi decided that he would forgo his Arlington National Cemetery funeral with full military service (he was a Medal of Honor recipient, after all) in order to have a traditional service in his home village in Okinawa. Daniel must travel with the casket back to Okinawa with ... Julie Pierce. Daniel and Julie inherit Mr. Miyagi's possessions and secret wealth jointly.

Daniel, Julie and Johnnie go out for drinks to get to know each other and reminisce. Julie is now a lawyer living in L.A. While at a local watering hole, some yutz starts picking on Julie. Daniel steps in to defend her honor, using a slick Karate move to shame the guy. Julie tells him she can take care of herself. Johnny steps away to go to the bathroom when the prior yutz and bunch of his friends come in and start a fight with Daniel. During the initial bar fight, Julie proves that she might, in fact, be better than Daniel at fighting. Johnny gets out of the bathroom to help, and the fight is over soon thereafter. They walk into the parking lot only to be confronted by ... John Kreese.

Kreese, along with Terry Silver, Mike Barnes and a bunch of Cobra Kai goons, start talking shit about Mr. Miyagi. He's also clearly disappointed with Johnny. Once Kreese implies that he had something to do with Mr. Miyagi's death, Daniel snaps. Another fight breaks out, with Johnny, Julie and Daniel fighting side-by-side. Eventually, all of the goons are beaten with the exception of Kreese. Daniel, Julie and Johnny now face Kreese alone.

After a quick signal between Johnny and Kreese, Johnny snaps a kick into Daniel's leg, injuring it badly. "I'm sorry Daniel!" he yells. Julie, enraged, starts to fight Johnny, leaving the injured Daniel to duke it out with Kreese alone.

They fight. Kreese takes advantage of Daniel's injured leg and generally fights unfairly. Julie subdues Johnny, and Daniel, using his training, eventually beats Kreese. Daniel eventually has Kreese on the ground, and he is pummelling him in the face. Julie calls Daniels's name, and he stops ... to honk Kreese's nose.

The next day, Daniel and Julie are off to Okinawa.

End Act I. Act II sees the return of Chozun and Kumiko (now married!). Act III ... Colonel Dugan.
posted by jabberjaw at 12:21 PM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


^ meant Reseda, not Fresno.
posted by jabberjaw at 12:22 PM on March 21, 2012


They wouldn't have much use for this, because they have, you know, weapons.
posted by mmrtnt at 12:27 PM on March 21, 2012


Due to a freak sunspot anomaly, a whole tribe of hunter-gatherers from 190,000BC are sent back 5000 years to 195,000 BC. Some notice is made of the subtly changed geography, but mostly it makes no difference.
posted by idiopath at 12:41 PM on March 21, 2012 [10 favorites]


> so hungover that all the bug fixing and patch builds he intended to release never got finished

Wait. Isn't that what happened?
posted by mmrtnt at 12:44 PM on March 21, 2012


Is there any way to get my version of the US Office made? No?
posted by shakespeherian at 12:47 PM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


So tell me straight up, does this mean that History of the World Part II is or is not happening then? Because I've been waiting for Hitler on Ice for a very... very long time.
posted by Blue_Villain at 1:02 PM on March 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ironmouth,

Your constant drumbeat of "SUPPLIES!!" really makes it seem like you haven't actually read the story and don't know what a Marine Expeditionary Unit is. The author doesn't ignore supplies; the issue of supplies is a constant theme in the story, from the very beginning. I suspect he purposefully chose to focus on an MEU because an MEU has a logistics combat element. It's a unit specifically designed to be self-sustaining and maintaining so that it can be quickly deployed and strike out into the field without having to wait for support.

Now of course it does not carry infinite supplies (Wiki says it's supposed to be self-sufficient for 30 days), but the story isn't about Marines roving over the Empire trying to conquer everything.

I'd suggest you actually read the story first before commenting. Not that I'm such a huge fan of it, but it's grating that it's clear you don't know what you're talking about.
posted by Sangermaine at 1:31 PM on March 21, 2012


But it's not even a new concept....
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt


My first thought was actually this.
posted by tetsuo at 1:51 PM on March 21, 2012




Metafilter: Even sodomy can be improved upon.
posted by danl at 2:30 PM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bob and Ray are having a hard time landing any story sales and Bob is really pissed off about it, especially with Ike popping in every act announcing a new book deal. Ray kills time by writing a fan-fable lette to the editor of a wargaming magazine, which is optioned to film right off the bat by J. Fitz Moneybags, who appears at the apartment in person with the contract (George Burns guest shot).

Bob hates it and accuses Ray of copping plot, which becomes a running poop joke.
posted by mwhybark at 2:33 PM on March 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


How many renegade cops on their last day on the force before retirement would it take to defeat the Roman empire?
posted by Damienmce at 2:43 PM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


an infinite number. a McNulty spawn point.
posted by mwhybark at 2:47 PM on March 21, 2012


How many renegade cops on their last day on the force before retirement would it take to defeat the Roman empire?

Come on, get with the times. How many FBI agents trying to catch a serial killer would it take?
posted by bongo_x at 2:59 PM on March 21, 2012


Quintus Caelus Bronski! Get your ass in here!

Thanks to your shenanigans, I've got the Praetorians breathing down my neck! For the last time, man, Senator Aufidius is clean. Stop harassing the poor bastard! If you haul him from his chariot and rough him up again - "probable cause" or no! - I won't be able to protect you from the consequences. By Jupiter's balls - give me one good reason I shouldn't have you transferred to Anatolia before you drag the whole damn praecinctum down with you!

I don't want to hear it again, Bronski!

That's it!!! Hand over your fasces! You're off the force!
posted by Iridic at 3:13 PM on March 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


BY JUPITER'S BALLS
posted by adamdschneider at 3:19 PM on March 21, 2012


Perhaps it would help if we ran away more?
posted by Brak at 3:38 PM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


How many curmudgeonly, senior crime-scene-investigators with chipper, young assistants would it take to figure out who killed the Roman Empire?
posted by mmrtnt at 3:48 PM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


My two-word Hollywood proposal:

SWAT Chimps.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 3:53 PM on March 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


To be honest, I'd rather see Smedleyman's version.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:04 PM on March 21, 2012


ARGH

They never called back about The Wheel, hey?

posted by Ritchie at 4:25 PM on March 21, 2012


dang html tags.
posted by Ritchie at 4:26 PM on March 21, 2012


Man, Smedleyman's contribs to the "VSA!" thread are simply STELLAR. I'm reading Peter Heather's Fall of the Roman Empire right now, and Smedleyman refers to the endgame problems with reference to our temporally jaunted MEU.
posted by mwhybark at 5:31 PM on March 21, 2012


Ironmouth,

Your constant drumbeat of "SUPPLIES!!" really makes it seem like you haven't actually read the story and don't know what a Marine Expeditionary Unit is. The author doesn't ignore supplies; the issue of supplies is a constant theme in the story, from the very beginning. I suspect he purposefully chose to focus on an MEU because an MEU has a logistics combat element. It's a unit specifically designed to be self-sustaining and maintaining so that it can be quickly deployed and strike out into the field without having to wait for support.

Now of course it does not carry infinite supplies (Wiki says it's supposed to be self-sufficient for 30 days), but the story isn't about Marines roving over the Empire trying to conquer everything.

I'd suggest you actually read the story first before commenting. Not that I'm such a huge fan of it, but it's grating that it's clear you don't know what you're talking about.
posted by Sangermaine at 4:31 PM on March 21 [+] [!]


Uh, I made the same comments on the reddit thread. 30 days of supplies? 30 days? No roads, no nothing. Conquering the entire Roman Empire in 30 days with only the "intermediate" supply offered by an MEU? Are you aware of the roadless distances we are talking about?

The concept is laughable. Mind you, the concept is explicit: the destruction of the entire Roman Empire. Please give me the battle plan that achieves a win from the English Channel to Egypt. In fact, how does it get to Africa or the Near East? Are you aware of the footprint of an MEU? And these guys with their 30 days of supply are going to do what to get there? Get. Real.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:35 PM on March 21, 2012


Ironmouth, Smedleyman explicitly addresses this in a way which respects the possibilities of Roman history. Prufrock451 stopped writing his version before he really began to explore supply, I think. Additionally, it should be noted that while the original ask was framed asa yes or no question, Prufrock451 does not answer it.

Smedleyman considers it in a cogent manner, reframing the question to be, more or less, could the MEU disrupt the Augustan project, resulting in the permanent political disruption of the Empire and producing 300 more years of civil war and cultural conflict? That's different than a hypothetical Cortes-style takeover of the empire.

While Prufrock451 didn't take his story far enough to explicitly address that, he was clearly positioning the unit as a game piece in the dispute between Augustus and the Republican remnant.
posted by mwhybark at 5:53 PM on March 21, 2012


Yes, but adding gay Marines from 2012 to it would make it even better.

oh god yes

the spartacus/generation kill crossover i have always longed for

YES

MAKE THIS HAPPEN
posted by elizardbits at 6:14 PM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


shut up stop judging meee
posted by elizardbits at 6:17 PM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's okay, after someone linked to that generation kill gay Viking fanfic my brain has been in an awful place.
posted by The Whelk at 6:54 PM on March 21, 2012


Oh man it would be the height of cruelty to inflict ray persons onto the roman people
posted by The Whelk at 6:55 PM on March 21, 2012


That was INCEPTION gay vikings, hdu sir.
posted by elizardbits at 6:59 PM on March 21, 2012


Yes, it's Inception gay vikings, but there is also psychic bonds with wolves gay Generation Kill fanfic. Also, while there may not be a Generation Kill/Spartacus crossover, I feel that there might actually be a Generation Kill/Eagle of the Ninth crossover somewhere.
posted by yasaman at 7:08 PM on March 21, 2012


Smedleyman considers it in a cogent manner, reframing the question to be, more or less, could the MEU disrupt the Augustan project, resulting in the permanent political disruption of the Empire and producing 300 more years of civil war and cultural conflict? That's different than a hypothetical Cortes-style takeover of the empire.

The specifically stated scenario in the article is "the complete destruction of the Roman Empire at the time of Augustus.

The thing about Cortez is this--Spain had a base in Cuba and Cortez knew he could get reinforcements. Hell, he knew others were coming too and he was acting to get there first. Second, the extreme distance in time means that skills ordinary Roman Legionaires or auxiliaries would have, like swordfighting or smith work would be absolutely lost. The Romans would be far better equipped than a group of modern-day marines to be thrown into a world with no cultural support. They could make the implements they'd need to live. They'd know how to subsistence farm. And they would be accustomed to the hardships of life in the ancient world.

Its all well and good to try and change the scenario, but that's not what the movie is about. If you want to make a film with a three hundred year story arc, you can. But it will suck.

I read and commented in the original thread on Reddit. I said the exact same thing.

When people think of modern warfare, the think of the spectacular firepower the Marines could deploy. But that firepower is entirely dependent on a logistics tail other armies never had.

More importantly, an MEU operates using GPS. Sure, they can eat and fight for a month. But that's not the same as knowing terrain and having access to information about their enemies.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:15 PM on March 21, 2012


adding gay Marines from 2012 to it would make it even better.

So, sort of Hurt Locker meets Sebastiane?
posted by octobersurprise at 7:32 PM on March 21, 2012


Dude, it's HBO, Generation Kill/Rome slash crossover.
posted by The Whelk at 7:57 PM on March 21, 2012


Generation Kill / Rome, but the Marines are led by General Al Swearingen and in a timeline twist the Roman emperor turns out to be one Omarius Allinthegamius. Also work in Stupid Ned Stark.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:23 PM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


no biggie, Ironmouth. i was only noting you might dig Smedleyman's take.

Cortez came up somewhere (I think in the reddit threads) as an example of how a culturally-distinct invading force could leverage local resources. Maybe Smedleyman cited him too.

Since you mention him in the context of resupply from Spain I will point out that he busted out of jail and was on the run from the Cuban authorities when he made landfall in Mexico. After some of his men tried to go back to Cuba, he sank all the ships he had (except one) in order to prevent more departures. He was deliberately foregoing resupply options.
posted by mwhybark at 9:02 PM on March 21, 2012


He's going to be awful confused when he gets there and finds most people speaking Greek and Aramaic.

"No, sorry, I must be looking for a different Jesus of Nazareth - light brown hair, blue eyes, beatific expression, that sort of thing. That one appears to be a North African Jew. Thanks, though, anyway."
posted by Grangousier at 1:07 AM on March 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ok, soo..lemme get this straight. We are arguing about the believability that a group of marines could topple Rome in 30 days...?

I'm thinking those marines could do anything they want in this movie, CAUSE I TOOK THE BAIT AT TIME TRAVEL.

I want the MEU to ride in using time-traveling super-evolved dolphins that can swim through air and that also have 1 gigawatt nuclear powered laser eyeballs.
posted by roboton666 at 4:51 AM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dude, if you're telling people to "Get. Real." in their debates about U.S. Marines traveling through time to fight Roman legionnaires, you may have wandered into the wrong debate by accident.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:40 AM on March 22, 2012


Also re: Generation Kill slashfic I am totally judging all of you. Just saying.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:41 AM on March 22, 2012


Counter-judge
posted by The Whelk at 7:48 AM on March 22, 2012


Oh come on, it's not like we're doing something inexcusably repugnant, like watching reality shows or something.
posted by elizardbits at 8:12 AM on March 22, 2012


It's not like we're graduate students or anything.
posted by The Whelk at 8:17 AM on March 22, 2012


Ok, soo..lemme get this straight. We are arguing about the believability that a group of marines could topple Rome in 30 days...?

Dude, if you're telling people to "Get. Real." in their debates about U.S. Marines traveling through time to fight Roman legionnaires, you may have wandered into the wrong debate by accident.


Do we really have to have the "speculative fiction does not mean your brain flies out the window" discussion again?
posted by adamdschneider at 9:51 AM on March 22, 2012


Well, time travel IS basically magic, so there's that...
posted by Artw at 9:55 AM on March 22, 2012


Magic? That's ridiculous. There's no such thing as magic.

It was aliens.
posted by griphus at 10:00 AM on March 22, 2012


Angels.
posted by The Whelk at 10:01 AM on March 22, 2012


Magic's all balderdash and chicanery!
posted by elizardbits at 10:59 AM on March 22, 2012


Star Wars is all bullshit too.
posted by Artw at 11:20 AM on March 22, 2012


Ironmouth,

I think the problem you're having is that you're continuing to answer the initial question of the thread, "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?" whereas the story that got bought for a movie is not really about that, so your comments don't really make sense.

For instance, in reply to, "How does he solve the problem of supply?" you answered, "By ignoring it and not knowing anything about actual warfare." But if you had actually read the story, you'd know that was false.

From "Day 3":

He pores over the inventories. His aviation fuel won't last longer than six months, the high-octane fuel necessary to run the Humvees maybe another year after that. He knows that he could technically rig machines to run on wood gas or even coal, but that seems highly impractical.

He has ammunition. He has fuel. He has food. He has medical supplies. But he doesn't have that much of any of these things. The 35th MEU was going to be dependent on a vast logistical pipeline from the first day of its deployment. He commanded one of the most powerful, terrifying forces in the world - especially in what appeared to be its new (old?) world - but it was one with a short half-life.


So clearly the author is not ignoring the supply issue.

But the deeper problem here is that you seem to think the story is about destroying Rome, which again makes me think you didn't read the story in question. You say, "Its all well and good to try and change the scenario, but that's not what the movie is about."

But that's the thing, that is what the story/movie is about. The story immediately dives into the internal political divisions of Rome and how the appearance of the MEU disrupts them. One of the plots that emerges early on is an anti-Augustan faction of Senators seeking to make use of the MEU.

The story/movie is not about the literal destruction of the Empire, but about the possible political disruption of its formation, and either you didn't read the story or you're not understanding this.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:59 PM on March 22, 2012


Um, avgas for six months? Fuel for Humvees for a year? What?
posted by adamdschneider at 1:41 PM on March 22, 2012


The story/movie is not about the literal destruction of the Empire, but about the possible political disruption of its formation, and either you didn't read the story or you're not understanding this


Really? That's funny because the title of the Reddit thread, which I read and posted in real time on, was:
"Could I destroy the entire Roman Empire during the Reign of Augustus if I traveled back in time with a modern US Marine Infantry battalion or MEU"

Word for Word. Really, what are you reading? It was about destroying the ENTIRE. ROMAN. EMPIRE. It's the title of the thread.

Um, avgas for six months? Fuel for Humvees for a year? What?

Exactly. This is an extremely small unit. It has 30 days supply. They're gonna fly helos for a year with no major spare parts? The writer has no concept of what he's talking about. Just read the MEU entry on Wikipedia. They don't have six months of aviation gas. At all.

they have 2200 guys. This isn't one of the most powerful anythings. The US Army's 1st Armored Division has 250 tanks. This MEU has 4.

Let's get real. Marines are, in the military sense, light infantry. They only have FOUR TANKS. They don't have a years's worth of gas. DUDE MADE IT UP.

This s what they have:

A typical MEU has approximately 2,200 Marines and sailors. It is equipped with:
Qty Nomenclature
1 Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement dump truck
1 LMT 3000 water purification unit logistics
12 CH-46E Sea Knight medium lift assault helicopter
15 Assault Amphibious Vehicle ground
2 TX51-19M Rough Terrain Forklift logistics
2 KC-130 Hercules re-fueler/transport aircraft
Note: usually maintained in the continental United States

2 Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit
3 UH-1N Twin Huey utility helicopter
3 D7 bulldozer
30 Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement trucks
4 M1A1 main battle tank
4 CH-53E Super Stallion heavy lift assault helicopter
4 Tractor, Rubber Tire, Articulated Steering
4 Mk48 Logistics Vehicle Syste
4 to 6 AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopters
6 AV-8B Harrier jet
6 155mm howitzer: M198 or M777
63 Humvee
7 500 gallon water containers
7 to 16 Light Armored Vehicle
8 FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missile
8 BGM-71 Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missile weapon system
8 M252 81mm mortar
posted by Ironmouth at 3:27 PM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


They also have a stars and stripes that flaps gently in the breeze, giving them a +2 on all attacks when they stand with it as a background.
posted by Artw at 3:29 PM on March 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


Um, avgas for six months? Fuel for Humvees for a year? What?

I assumed he was talking about the shelf life of the fuel.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:36 PM on March 22, 2012


Um, avgas for six months? Fuel for Humvees for a year? What?

I assumed he was talking about the shelf life of the fuel.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:36 PM on March 22 [+] [!]


Why would aviation gas last half a year and regular gas a year? He was talking about how much fuel he had.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:43 PM on March 22, 2012


Oh also PS I'm working a something called Cyborg Atomic Gorillas if anyone is interested. It's gonna be incredible.
posted by neuromodulator at 10:50 AM on March 23, 2012


Ironmouth

Word for Word. Really, what are you reading? It was about destroying the ENTIRE. ROMAN. EMPIRE. It's the title of the thread.

Thank you for proving my point. That was the topic that the tread was created for, but if you read Prufrock451's story, it's not what he is writing about. The movie is not about the thread, it's about Prufrock415's story. You don't seem to be able to grasp this and I'm not sure why. You should try reading the story that is going to be turned into a movie, and not continually referencing the thread which spawned it but is not relevant to the potential movie now.
posted by Sangermaine at 11:58 AM on March 23, 2012


But what's the point of dropping a Marine Expeditionary Unit into Augustine Rome unless they're going to destroy it? Who cares what supplies the MEU has if they're not going to use it to conquer? If it was just a survival story, then it's kind of lame, because an MEU is also designed to be mobile and to stay out of trouble if needed.
posted by jabberjaw at 12:55 PM on March 23, 2012


The movie is not about the thread, it's about Prufrock415's story.

I see eight days up on that thread. Other things are blocked off on the other subreddit. But if you think that Hollywood is going to write an action movie with a 300 year story arc, well, I got some land in Florida for you.

More importantly, this is 2200 men, with 30 days food and fuel. Its in the Wikipedia article you linked to. They have 4 TANKS!. 4!

They'll be wiped out. Flat the fuck out killed. They can't raise food, most of their weapons are designed to fight modern enemies, and their enemies are ten times the hand to hand fighters they are. They're going to run out of bullets. This is a light infantry battalion with an aviation unit tacked on and 30 days of gas. Exactly as it says in the wikipedia article you linked to.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:24 PM on March 23, 2012


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