Episode 162

Mars Attacks!

Ack ack ackack ACK ACK!

Based on the Topps trading cards of the same name, a movie version of Mars Attacks! first started gathering pace in the mid-80s, but without Tim Burton's involvement.

After several years in development hell, screenwriter Jonathan Gems and director Tim Burton got involved, with a script which was costed by Warner Bros at $250 million to make. Not even Titanic would cost that much.

To get the cost down, compromises had to be made, and while eight months of stop-motion work had been completed, the decision was made to scrap most of it for CG Martians, which reduced the budget enough to allow production to commence.

At the same time, rival studio 20th Century Fox was working on their own big budget special effects-laden alien invasion movie, you might have heard of; Independence Day, and director Roland Emmerich wanted to beat Burton to the punch...

I would love to hear your thoughts on Mars Attacks! !

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Music by Chloe Enticott - Compositions by Chloe

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About the Podcast

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Verbal Diorama
The podcast on the history and legacy of movies you know, and movies you don't.

About your host

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Em .

Hi! I'm Em. I created Verbal Diorama in 2018, and launched the podcast in February 2019 to rapturous applause and acclaim.... from my cat Jess.

The modus operandi of Verbal Diorama is simple: movies are tough to make! The coming together of a team of people from all walks of life to make something to entertain, delight and educate us for 90+ mins is not an easy task, and yet so many succeed at it. That must be something to celebrate.

I'm here to do just that - to celebrate movies. Their history and legacy, and why they remain so special to so many of us.

Episodes are book ended by my cat Jess. She sadly passed away in March 2022, aged almost 18. She featured in many episodes of the podcast, and that's why you can hear her at the end of every episode. The role of official feline producer is now held by four-month-old Evie.

I love podcasts and listen to many, but never my own.

I unashamedly love The Mummy (1999) and Grease 2. I'm still looking for a cool rider.