Episode 56


Mutation: it is the key to our evolution. It has enabled us to evolve from a single-celled organism into the dominant species on the planet. This process is slow, and normally taking thousands and thousands of years. But every few hundred millennia, evolution leaps forward. 

X-Men, based on the comic books created in 1963 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, like many projects in Hollywood, moved around from studio to studio until it landed at Fox and in the lap of producer Lauren Schuler Donner. It turned out that her young assistant would make waves on this production, and end up becoming the most powerful name in superhero cinema.... but more on him another time.

We have a lot to thank X-Men for. Despite being a team of super-powered mutants, X-Men's grounded style, deep roots in real life civil rights history and a real historical setting mean it remains relatable and focused on real marginalised groups, discrimination, ostracization and the fear of the unknown, unlike other superhero movies. It remains surprisingly relevant twenty years after release, which calls to the strength of Stan Lee's creations.

Other better X-Men movies came and went (and arguably some worse ones!) and then other better Marvel movies arrived and took the X-Men's crown, and while X-Men will forever be tarnished due to the serious allegations made towards its director, its legacy in not just superhero cinema, but arguable modern cinema, remains unrivalled. 

Simply put.... X-Men was a game-changer and in that regard it's x-ceptional.

I would love to hear your thoughts on X-Men!


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Thank you to all the patrons Simon E, Sade, Jardiel, Claudia, Simon B, Laurel, Derek, Jason, Kristin, Cat, Andy, Mike and Griff!


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Theme Music: Verbal Diorama Theme Song

Music by Chloe Enticott - Compositions by Chloe Facebook

Lyrics by Chloe Enticott (and me!)

Production by Ellis Powell-Bevan of Ewenique Studios.

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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.

I mostly host solo, but often you'll hear my cat Jess in the background (she's 17 years old, and very loud!).

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.