Neill Blomkamp is directing the return of Clive Owen as the Driver in a new BMW film.
BMW is finally bringing back Clive Owen as the Driver for a new entry in the BMW Films series called The Escape. The company isn’t skimping on talent either because the cast also includes Dakota Fanning, Jon Bernthal (formerly of The Walking Dead), and Vera Farmiga. Neill Blomkamp, who is best known for District 9, is handling the directing duties. The short movie premieres Sunday, October 23, at 6:00 PM EST on BMWFilms.com.
The 30-second teaser above doesn’t give anything away about the plot and only provides some brief glimpses of Owen’s BMW. It’s clear The Escape is action-packed, though. It seems Fanning’s character needs the Driver’s help to get away from something – likely Bernal’s gun-toting soldier.
The eight original movies in the BMW Films series premiered online in 2001, and they were some of the best videos streaming at the time – keep in mind YouTube didn’t arrive until 2005. The clips combined Owen, who wasn’t well known at the time, with some of the best directors in the world. For example, the late John Frankenheimer (of Grand Prix fame) did the first one Ambush.
The clips are still a lot of fun to watch today, especially the five from the first season. The highlight of the bunch is Star. It features Madonna as an annoying celebrity. Her manager hires the Driver to fling her around the backseat of a BMW through some wild driving. The short film is set to Blur’s Song Two, and the director is Guy Ritchie – Madonna’s husband at the time.
The three movies in season 2 from 2002 all feature a BMW Z4 and aren’t quite as good as the first batch where Owen is in a different Bimmer for every short film. We hope that this revival can match the thrills of the original ones and look forward to finding out.
Source: BMW via BMW Blog
Gallery: BMW Films The Escape
BMW of North America Announces the Return of BMW Films with “The Escape.”
20.09.2016 Press Release
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – September 20, 2016… BMW of North America announced today the return of 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.
Clive Owen to Reprise His Role as the Driver in the 15th Anniversary Homage Film from Academy Award® Nominated Director Neill Blomkamp, co-starring Dakota Fanning, Jon Bernthal and Vera Farmiga.
“The Escape” will premiere on Sunday, October 23, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. EST on BMWFilms.com.
Blomkamp Joins A-List Stable of BMW Films Directors IncludingAcademy Award® winners Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Ang Lee; Joe Carnahan, John Frankenheimer, Wong Kar-wai, Guy Ritchie, Tony Scott and John Woo.
“The Hire,” Comprised of Eight Original BMW Films, Was Released Over Two Seasons from 2001-2002 and Received Over 100MM Views Online Without the Benefit of High-Speed Internet or YouTube.
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – September 20, 2016… BMW of North America announced today the return of 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.
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 andDennis 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.
“The Hire”– Awards and Accolades.
After the first two films in “The Hire” series debuted online, Wong Kar-wai’s third film, “The Follow,” made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2001 to critical acclaim. In the media, The New York Times said, “The BMW films tingle with zest,” while Timemagazine added, “It surely deserves the attention of discerning movie watchers.”
“The Hire” inspired the Cannes International Advertising Festival to create the Titanium Lion in 2003, to honor creative ideas that point to a new direction for the industry and redefine the creative landscape. Besides winning the inaugural Titanium Lion, the films went on to win the top honor in virtually every creative competition. They were named “The Best of the Digital Decade” by The One Show in 2011 and were named to the Clios Hall of Fame in 2009. The Hire series was inducted into the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in 2003.
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