The sale of Des Moines-based author James Erwin’s first screenplay pitch was accomplished via an unusual route: the social news aggregator website Reddit.com. Warner Bros just bought Rome, Sweet Rome after Reddit users voted to elevate his idea to the top of the site’s home page. Madhouse Entertainment told Deadline it spotted the post and contacted Erwin, a two-time Jeopardy! champ, to develop his concept for a quick sale. The idea? Contemporary U.S. Marines by some quirk of fate are transported to Ancient Rome where they are forced to contend with Roman legions. Because the Marines’ presence disrupts history’s timeline, they must set things back on course to return home.
Alcon Entertainment has acquired a controlling stake in boutique managment firm Madhouse Entertainment. Alcon announced today that it hopes the deal will be the first in a series of moves into the talent management biz. Among Madhouse’s top clients are Dave Andron, co-exec producer on FX’s Justified, Liz Garcia and Josh Harto, who created TNT’s Memphis Beat, and screenwriter David Guggenheim, whose horror film Safe House debuts for Universal this month. Alcon’s chief executives Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove will oversee the new divison, Alcon Management Enterprises. Alcon, which is backed by FedEx founder Fred Smith, was behind last year’s The Blind Side. It is currently developing a remake of Blade Runner with Ridley Scott and will next release “A Dolphin Tale.”