Blog

BMW of North America announced today the return of the BMW Films with “The Escape.”

A short film from Academy Award® nominated director Neill Blomkamp (“District 9,” “Elysium”) featuring original BMW Films star and Oscar® nominated actor Clive Owen (“Closer,” “Children of Men”), who reprises his role as The Driver. Presented as an homage to the 15th anniversary of the original BMW Film series, “The Escape” also stars Dakota Fanning (“War of the Worlds,” “I am Sam”), Jon Bernthal (“The Punisher,” “Daredevil”) and Oscar® nominee Vera Farmiga (“The Departed,” “Up in the Air”). “The Escape” will premiere on Sunday, October 23, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. EST on BMWFilms.com.

The critically acclaimed original series, “The Hire,” included eight short films which were released in two seasons from 2001-2002. Each film featured then rising-star Owen as the mysterious Driver hired to complete various missions and was directed by some of Hollywood’s best and brightest talent.

“The Escape.”

BMW not only brought back Owen for “The Escape,” but also Bruce Bildsten as Creative Director, Brian DiLorenzo as Executive Producer and David Carter, who in addition to serving as a creative consultant, co-wrote the film alongside Blomkamp. The trio then brought together a group of producers and designers to bring the film to life.

“The Hire” – 8 Original BMW Short Films.

With “The Escape,” Blomkamp joins the A-list stable of original BMW Films directors from the seminal project including Academy Award® winners Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Ang Lee; Joe Carnahan, Wong Kar-wai, Guy Ritchie, John Woo and the late John Frankenheimer and Tony Scott. “The Hire” also featured A-list talent in front of the camera including: Gary Oldman, Stellan Skarsgård, Forest Whitaker, Mickey Rourke, James Brown, Don Cheadle, Madonna, Adriana Lima, Danny Trejo, Kathryn Morris, Marilyn Manson, Ray Liotta, Robert Patrick and Dennis Haysbert.

“The Hire” was released exclusively online at BMWFilms.com and received more than 100MM views prior to the proliferation of high-speed internet connectivity and introduction of YouTube.

Season 1 of “The Hire” premiered on BMWFilms.com on April 26, 2001 with John Frankenheimer’s “Ambush,” followed by “Chosen” from Ang Lee, who would go on to win Academy Awards® for “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi.” The third film in the series, “The Follow,” was directed by Wong Kar-wai and featured Forest Whitaker, Adriana Lima and Mickey Rourke. Rounding out Season 1 was Guy Ritchie’s “Star,” featuring Madonna, and “Powder Keg,” starring Stellan Skarsgård, directed by then up-and-comer and current multiple Academy Award® winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu. Season 1 was executive produced by David Fincher (“The Social Network,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) and was viewed over 11 million times in four months.

Season 2 of “The Hire” was executive produced by Tony and Ridley Scott and debuted in October 2002 with John Woo’s “Hostage,” featuring Maury Chaykin, and was followed by Joe Carnahan’s “The Ticker.” Tony Scott’s “Beat the Devil,” starring James Brown and Gary Oldman, completed the series.