In a nutshell: You might not expect one of Hollywood’s biggest directors to be involved with a commercial for the Pokémon GO festival, but here we are. Rian Johnson, best known for Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, Knives Out, and Looper, was responsible for the teaser trailer, which promotes the upcoming virtual event.
As expected, Covid-19 concerns mean this year’s festival, which is around three weeks away, will be the first to take place entirely online. Developer Niantic writes that it has already sold more than 700,000 tickets from more than 110 countries and regions.
The company adds that Johnson, who is a big fan of Pokémon GO, directed the cast and crew in New Zealand from Los Angeles.
“Pokémon GO has kept me engaged with my friends remotely as I’ve been practicing physical distancing these past few months,” said Johnson. “As a longtime Pokémon trainer, it was a real pleasure working with Niantic on this spot. It was a new experience for me to direct a production remotely, and I enjoyed the highly collaborative process and think we put together a fun and upbeat commercial that fans will enjoy.”
Back in 2017, the first official anniversary event for Pokémon GO took place at Chicago’s Grant Park, but excitement turned to disappointment for many attendees when they were met with incredibly long lines, spotty cellular reception, and server problems. It led to a class-action lawsuit that Niantic settled for over $1.5 million.
The Pokémon GO Fest takes place in virtual team lounges on July 25 and 26