Lexus’s 2018 Black Panther Super Bowl-themed ad will star Chadwick Boseman as King T’Challa, and Letitia Wright as his sister Shuri. The commercial was created in partnership with Marvel in anticipation of its upcoming film Black Panther, which will be released on February 16.
The spot is titled “Long Live the King” and showcases the Lexus LS 500 F Sport alongside Black Panther Chadwick Boseman. An extended 60-second spot is featured above. A 30-second version of the ad will air during the third quarter of the Super Bowl.
In a press release for the spot, Cooper Ericksen, Lexus vice president of marketing, said, “There is an authentic match between the duality of both the Black Panther and the LS. The spot utilizes the Black Panther’s life as a Super Hero and as royalty to show the two sides of the LS: performance and luxury. The stars aligned for this Super Bowl spot, with Lexus launching our flagship sedan and audiences primed for Marvel Studios’ highly anticipated release ‘Black Panther.’ Uniting LS with Black Panther on advertising’s biggest stage was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.”
Along with Boseman and Shuri, the ad features three members of the Dora Milaje team of special forces: Janeshia Adams-Ginyard, Marija Abney, and Zola Williams. The soundtrack for the commercial is “Legend Has It” by Run the Jewels. The song is also featured in the first trailer for the Black Panther film and debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart for the physical release.
The Lexus Super Bowl commercial is directed by Samuel Bayer, and uses original costumes and gear from the film. According to a press release, the film’s fight choreographer, Jonathan (JoJo) Eusebio, also helped stage the fight scene in the commercial.
Tonight marks Lexus’s fourth Super Bowl ad. Last year’s spot was titled “Man and Machine”, and the company also aired commercials in 2012 and 2015.
Boseman is known for playing Jackie Robinson in 42, James Brown in Get on Up, and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall. Among his many television credits are Lincoln Heights, The Glades, Castle, Fringe and Justified. The actor was born and raised in Anderson, South Carolina, and graduated from the British American Drama Academy in Oxford. His film Black Panther boasts a star-studded cast including Micheal B. Jordan, Angela Basset, Daniel Kaluuya, Andy Serkis, Martin Freeman, and Sterling K. Brown. The film was directed by Ryan Coogler, who also directed Fruitvale Station and Creed.
In a November interview with CNET, Boseman was asked what he likes his about his character in the film. He said, “I love that he thinks about other people. He’s not afraid to hear wise counsel. I think there is some fear of being wrong. I identify with that, with his plight, his personality. And I love him because the fantasy of playing a ruler — you never get to do that. You never get to explore what that is. It’s fun having power and having a say in what happens to the people around you.”