Designing Scarlett Johansson’s Signature ‘Ghost in the Shell’ Suit

Lawrence Yee

Ghost in the Shell is filled with many visual and practical effects. One of the most astounding creations in the thermoptic suit actress Scarlett Johansson wears in the live-action sci-fi thriller.

Inspired by the suit the character Major wears in the anime, costume designer Flo Foxworthy and the WETA workshop in New Zealand were tasked with creating a costume that was both wearable and shootable.

“It was really inspiring,” Foxworthy told FANDOM about the creation process. “The feel and the aesthetic of the anime. It was so beautifully intense and I think they were able to capture the feeling of it in the new film.”

Foxworthy has a background in burlesque wear, and wanted to create something eye-catching. “I used my background knowledge in creating form-fitting costumes, comfortable form-fitting costumes, and enhancing silhouettes.” “It was a really interesting build, being able to make something flattering and beautiful for someone with an amazing presence like Scarlett. It could’ve done with a few rhinestones,” she laughed.

Silicon won out over spandex and latex as the material of choice. “It looks like nothing else,” Foxworthy explained. “It takes on the imprints from the molds really beautifully. It has this amazing skin-like matte texture to it. It’s just beautiful. It wouldn’t have looked the same in any other material.”

Work on the costume — as well as the rest of the film — took place in Wellington. The costume team actually built it WITHOUT fitting Johansson in it initially. “We had a Scarlett mannequin. We used that for a lot of the work. But a course, a rigid body doesn’t act the same way in a tight costume as a soft body does, so we also had a body double. Imogen is a local circus performer and does a lot of fit modeling for us. It just turned out she had really really close measurements to Scarlett. She came in and was our test dummy. She was fantastic in helping us work out what was comfortable and what wasn’t.”

When it came to actually fitting the star, Foxworthy said Johannson was a star.

“She was so good about wearing that suit. It’s not a comfortable suit. It’s not the worst, but it’s not like wearing track pants,” Foxworthy joked.

Check out the finished product in Ghost in the Shell, out on DVD and BLU-RAY now.

Lawrence Yee
Lawrence is Editor in Chief of FANDOM. He grew up loving X-Men, Transformers, and Japanese-style role playing games like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. First-person shooters make him incredibly nauseous.
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