BMW's 'The Hire' series is back with a star-studded, action-packed short.

BMW Films has released the official trailer for its upcoming short The Escape, which revives its legendary The Hire series and looks awesome.

Original star Clive Owen (The Bourne Indentity, Duplicity) returns to The Escape in his role as The Driver. No details of the plot have been announced, but it seems The Driver has been hired to transport a young woman, played by Dakota Fanning (War of the Worlds, The Twilight Saga), who is being pursued by dark forces, led by Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead, The Wolf of Wall Street). Mayhem and destruction inevitably ensue. Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel, Source Code) also stars and Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium) directs.

BMW effectively invented viral video marketing when it released its The Hire series in 2001. Five films were made highlighting different BMW models, starring big-name actors and made by some of the best action movie directors in the business. All centered on Owen as The Driver, following him as he went from job to job - which rarely went entirely as planned.

Perhaps the best known of the series was Star, which featured Madonna as a difficult celebrity whose manager hired The Driver to scare her witless, throwing her around in an M5.

Three more films were made in 2002 to publicize the launch of the Z4. The series could only be viewed online and it’s estimated that 100 million people watched the films in the four years the BMW Films website was live - mostly through shared links, long before Facebook and Youtube existed.

The Escape premieres on October 23 at, seemingly to coincide with the unveiling of the new 5 Series sedan. In the meantime, all eight of the original films are easy to find on Youtube, and well worth seeking out. You can watch a short behind the scenes teaser of The Escape below.


Gallery: BMW Films The Escape trailer