BMW Films has released The Escape, latest chapter in the company’s The Hire series! [w/video]

Article by Christian A., on October 24, 2016

Driving the newest 2017 BMW 5-Series (G30), Clive Owen (Closer, Children of Men) returns to his role as “The Driver”. In this latest installment, what initially starts as a simple transport job eventually becomes a chase involving life and death not only for the Driver but the passenger as well. Amidst all the explosions and gunfights, the Driver takes complete charge of the new 5 Series (G30) to ensure the safety of the passenger.

Making appearances in this newest short are Jon Bernthal, who currently plays the lead in Netflix’s The Punisher, and Vera Farmiga of Up in The Air fame. Playing the passenger is Dakota Fanning, who is well-known for films like War of The Worlds and Twilight Series. Manning the helm of this short film is Neill Blomkamp, who directed films like District 9 and Elysium.

'The Escape' officially went live last October 23, 2016 at 6:00 pm EST. It is available for viewing at BMWFilms.com or at the company’s official YouTube page and of course, right here in this article.

First released back in 2001, “The Hire” was a series of 10-minutes short films released online with Clive Owen taking the lead as the Driver. What made this series unique at the time of release was that it was available online a full four years even before YouTube came into being. In fact, the films manage to get at least 100 million views on the official BMW Films website.

Considering the technology at the time and the lack of strong social media platforms, many are saying that this may well be one of the earliest viral videos. With each of the films having its own unique story, the series managed to get critical acclaim and almost two decades later continues to have a strong cult following.

The first season of the “The Hire” was composed of five films, each highlighting a unique model in the brand’s product line. The series had David Fincher acting as one of the executive producers. Directors included Wong Kar-wai, Guy Ritchie, and Ang Lee, the latter of which had recently achieved international fame with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Celebrities included Mickey Rourke, Forest Whitaker, and even Madonna.

This series returned for a second season by 2002 with three films though Ridley and Tony Scott replaced Fincher as executive producer. Directors for this season were Joe Carnahan, Tony Scott, and John Woo. Stars included Danny Trejo, James Brown, Don Cheadle, and Gary Oldman. There were also cameos by Robert Patrick, Ray Liotta, and shock-rocker Marilyn Manson.

According to Brand BMW Senior Vice President Hildegard Wortmann, when the company first commissioned this new short, the goal was to focus on the story as this new offering had to live up to the high standards that was first set by The Hire. She added that with Clive Owen in the lead, Neill Blomkamp at the helm, and the brilliance of the rest of the cast, the company is sure that “The Escape” is not only able to meet the needed standards but likely to set new ones as well.

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