Agent M. Kruger has a couple of distinct looks in the film…if you don’t count wearing his underwear in public.
First up is his desert attire, and secondly his Exo-HULC suit. For this article we look at the outfit worn in the desert.
This was always going to be a hard costume to put together for the current owner, as it consists of multiple pieces of wardrobe, and prop hardware. From his research on the film we discovered there were probably 3 of the vests made for the film, with two being hero and one being stunt. Unfortunately they are not marked as such for Kruger, Drake or Crowe the other mercenaries so we had to judge what they were talking to the latter two actors who were available to talk to, and then from materials used in the construction.
The Kruger vest is probably the stunt vest, even though there are no markings on it or the original WETA container box used for shipping and is the only one of its kind sold during the auction. Here is the original description from 4th September 2013:
This is a Kruger (Sharlto Copley) screen used stunt vest. This vest is described as being made of a polyester resin and cloth materials. It is black in color, with several different colored decals and accessories and a black padding around the neck area. There are various attached wires and accessories placed on it to make the vest look realistic, including a fan and carabiner (see pictures for details). There is a handle on the top of the back, and there are various stains all over it, in addition to different types of tape on some wires and cables, all from production and stunt use. The vest is approximately large in size, but has several adjustable straps and Velcro sections to adjust the size.
The owner discovered early on that there were between 10-15 various Kruger costumes in the auction but of these only 2-3 were complete and only two were definite screen-matches. The camouflage trousers are discussed here with April Ferry, wardrobe designer:
I made uniforms for Sharlto out of African camo which I couldn’t find anywhere and had to make and have the camouflage printed. It was very difficult because Neil had me talk to the costume designer of District 9 as he thought she could go out and buy camo in South Africa and send it to us, but they don’t sell it to anyone other than the military! So, we had to get one piece and then have yards and yards of the stuff printed.
We had a new appreciation after we discovered the exterior costumes were replicated for scenes almost perfectly, with every stitch and damage mark replicated exactly…..EXCEPT for the pockets were they had used offcuts. Using photographs from the film and buying only costumes with tags which were definitely used he was able to find the specific pants worn by Kruger in the desert for most of the shoot. Later on this style of trouser would be slightly adapted with holes for the Exo-suit.
Kruger wears a set of gauntlets and gloves on his arms in both versions of the movie costumes. Some versions of this lit up, one was made for a shot of the knife breaking the screen and some were stunt rubber
Various rubber knives, and an awesome retractable piece were sold. This one stabs Matt Damon in the desert. The other was for hand to hand fighting in the end battle.
Aaron Beck’s original costume for Kruger was very different to the one made and yet still used components of the one realized. The cloak however was originally an invisibility technology. The claw boots sold in the auction were also realized from this art but never made it into the movie.
This costume along with pistol, holster and other ancillary pieces is now complete in its new home. Hopefully sometime in the future we can get a nice picture of the full ensemble but for now the owner is just happy to have won the 15-20 auctions necessary to put the whole thing back together.
Congrats……its an amazing piece and accomplishment to have done so.