Joanna Johnston

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Joanna Johnston is an English costume designer who has worked extensively in film, particularly in the United States. She is especially known for her collaborations with Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis.

Life and career[edit]

Initially, Johnston worked in the theatre, but in 1978, she became the assistant costume designer (albeit uncredited) on Death on the Nile. This was followed the next year by work on Roman Polanski's Tess. Still an assistant costume designer, Johnston worked for the first time with Spielberg on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and The Color Purple (1985).

Her first feature film costume design credit was Hellraiser (1987). A year later she worked with Robert Zemeckis on the highly successful Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The working relationship with Zemeckis continued through Back to the Future Part II (1989), Back to the Future Part III (1990), Death Becomes Her (1992), Contact (1997), Cast Away (2000), The Polar Express (2004), and Allied (2016) for which she received her second nomination for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design.

In 1989, Spielberg hired her as designer on Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and they worked together again on Saving Private Ryan (1998), War of the Worlds (2005), Munich (also 2005) and War Horse (2011). Their latest collaboration is Lincoln for which she received her first nomination for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design, but lost to three-time nominee Jacqueline Durran, respectively.[1]

Johnston also designed the costumes for two of M. Night Shyamalan's first features The Sixth Sense (1999) and Unbreakable (2000).

She currently lives in the United States. She is interviewed in the HBO documentary Spielberg about her work with Steven Spielberg.


Year Title[2] Director
1987 Hellraiser Clive Barker
1988 Who Framed Roger Rabbit Robert Zemeckis
1989 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Steven Spielberg
Back to the Future Part II Robert Zemeckis
1990 Back to the Future Part III
1992 Far and Away Ron Howard
Death Becomes Her Robert Zemeckis
1994 Forrest Gump
1995 French Kiss Lawrence Kasdan
1997 Contact Robert Zemeckis
1998 Saving Private Ryan Steven Spielberg
1999 The Sixth Sense M. Night Shyamalan
2000 Unbreakable
Cast Away Robert Zemeckis
2002 About a Boy Chris Weitz
Paul Weitz
2003 Love Actually Richard Curtis
2004 The Polar Express Robert Zemeckis
2005 War of the Worlds Steven Spielberg
2008 The Spiderwick Chronicles Mark Waters
Valkyrie Bryan Singer
2009 The Boat That Rocked Richard Curtis
2011 War Horse Steven Spielberg
2012 Lincoln
2013 Jack the Giant Slayer Bryan Singer
2015 Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Christopher McQuarrie
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Guy Ritchie
2016 The BFG Steven Spielberg
Allied Robert Zemeckis
2018 Welcome to Marwen
2020 The Witches
2022 Jurassic World Dominion Colin Trevorrow
2023 Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny James Mangold


  1. ^ [1], additional text.
  2. ^ [2], additional text.

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