The Truth About Adam Savage's $15,000 Comic-Con Costume

Rank has its privileges. The most successful among us have always been better equipped to chase their bliss, and as Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame can attest, spending fifteen years as the co-host of a cable network's most profitable property buys you a lot of bliss chasing. In Savage's particular case, it bought him roughly one Taco Bell employee's annual income worth of dressing up like John Hurt. Or, to put it another way, it bought him The Dream.

If you're unfamiliar, Hurt was a British actor with a resumé that's hard to beat. He gave Harry Potter his wand, raised Hellboy into a Hellman, and retroactively starred as the secret main character on Doctor Who. Maybe most iconic of all, Hurt played Kane, the first man in cinematic history to birth a xenomorph chestburster not once, but twice, staring in 1979's Alien and doing it again in 1987's Spaceballs. 

In an interview with CNBC's Make It, Savage recounted his burning desire to dress more like John Hurt, and how it cost him more than, say, your average genetically engineered miniature cow.

Make it Hurt so good

Recreating Kane's space suit from Alien is a professional level cosplay ambition. It's a huge, clunky, highly detailed piece of costuming. Luckily, Savage had the skill, the money, and the time. Goodness, how much time he had.

Savage states that the project took "roughly 14 years." The process of boning up on expertise was extensive: He visited a display of the original costume, studied footage, and eventually started assembling the outfit piecemeal. "He sent away for textile samples from Italy and China for different types of woven fabric," CNBC reports. He even went so far as to hire mold makers to sculpt individual chunks of the getup.

In the end, Savage estimated that the cosplay set him back about $15,000. The suit was impressive. It was nearly indistinguishable from the original. And it was, as Savage put it, "a new level of hot." 20 minutes in the costume was enough to make the acclaimed stuff-maker aim for better ventilated accouterments going forward.