With Kumail Nanjiani piloting the V8-powered Lexus.
Cross pollination between the automotive market and pop culture like music and movies (and video games) is no longer the exception, it’s the rule. So, when a monstrous series like the Marvel movies come along, there’s going to be some product placement. So far we’ve seen Captain Marvel driving a Nissan Z in commercials, Black Widow first driving a Chevy Corvette then a BMW X3 in the movies, and of course the new Captain America and a Hyundai Tucson. And that’s ignoring all of the early Acura and Audi placement.
Lexus wants in for Marvel Phase 4. The luxury brand tapped funnyman-turned-ripped-superhero Kumail Nanjiani for the spot with the new V8-powered 2022 Lexus IS 500. Nanjiani plays Kingo in the upcoming Eternals movie, which will somehow relate to the recently released Shang-Chi, and all the rest, we’re assuming.
The ad is called Parking Spot and it features Kingo late to a superhero battle looking for a place to park, with buildings exploding and fireballs flying as he whips around in the IS 500. Even with a costume and a bodybuilder's body, Nanjiani is still funny. He'll assuredly be the comic relief in the next movie, though the trailer has a few funny bits with different characters.
The commercial was directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, who were responsible for four Marvel movies, including Avengers: Endgame. The automaker also notes that “in order to achieve the level of VFX viewers expect from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Lexus enlisted the Oscar-winning visual effects company Framestore,” hence the surprisingly movie-like look of the commercial.
We get a few Marvel Easter eggs in the ad. We spotted Ant-Man's van along with a sweet old Land Cruiser, though we're not sure that last one is from Marvel. You can probably spot more. The YouTube clip is about 2 minutes, though the TV spots will be shorter, played at the usual times, during football and soccer.
As for the Lexus IS 500, we'll probably see it in the movie, though not in a scene like this. But we can't argue the enjoyment of hearing its 472-hp 5.0-liter V8 echo off skyscrapers in the city. The company line on the new car, which we drove a few weeks ago, is that it competes not with the BMW M3 and Mercedes C63, but with mid-level performance sedans like the Acura TLX Type S and Audi S4. Eternals is in theaters November 5.