Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow - Verbal Diorama

Episode 5

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Most movies contain some blue screen in some way (some, green!). If your movie is full of complex special effects, or set on some vast, wholly imagined alien world, you need that blue (or green) screen to be able to insert those computer generated backdrops, with your actors in the foreground pretending to be in that world. In the early 2000s, brothers Kerry and Kevin Conran had an idea..... what if they could shoot a complete movie using these blue screen backdrops, set in an alternative 1939 New York, where robots attack the city and only a brave pilot and a smart reporter could save the world?!

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow was the result of years of painstaking hard work and determination. Its effects were revolutionary for the time, and paved the way for modern movies. You think Sin City or 300 started this revolution? Nope, it was Sky Captain!

Whilst the visuals don't always hold up 15 years later, the premise and ambition of the movie really does. Plus Jude Law is super hot, but this episode isn't 30 minutes of me telling you something you already know!

Simply put, a lot of today's movies owe a great debt to Sky Captain, including the MCU, not only for the remarkable visual effects but also in other ways you might not realise....

I also talk about the Ottensian dieselpunk style of this movie, and reference a particular article - the link for which is below - if you're interested in knowing more about the differing styles of dieselpunk:

I would love to hear your thoughts on Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow! You can get in touch on

Twitter @verbaldiorama

Instagram @verbaldiorama

Facebook @verbaldiorama

or you can email me general hellos, feedback or suggestions:

You can rate or review the show in iTunes or at Apple Podcasts and I'd very much appreciate that!

As I mentioned at the end of this episode, I've recently set up a ko-fi page and if you'd like to buy me a coffee, that would help me tremendously! You can do so at and I'd be very grateful for your support!

The battle for tomorrow is about to begin...

Special thanks to the following people for their contributions to this episode:

Rich from @WooLongTalks










See for privacy and opt-out information.

About the Podcast

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

About your host

Profile picture for Em .

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 the comparatively quieter 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.