It has been 15 years since Clive Owen and BMW wowed the world with the brilliant film series ‘The Hire.’ The film series was composed of two seasons with a total of eight episodes. It was at the time BMW’s most ambitious film project and was quite capital intensive. However, the series of short films went on to become beloved amongst BMW fans and non BMW fans alike.
Each episode featured an ensemble cast with highlights such as Madonna playing the role of a spoiled celebrity to Forest Whitaker playing the role of a celebrity’s manager.The main role went to Clive Owen who stars as the ‘The Driver.’ As the title suggests The Driver is hired to carry out various tasks. Usually, this involves ferrying a passenger from one location to another with the occasional hired goons(gunmen)trying to keep the driver from his objective.
The tone of each episode varies as different episodes were produced by different directors. Some episodes were hilarious, such as Guy Ritchie’s ‘Star’ which featured Madonna playing the role of a spoiled celebrity, being driven to an event in an e39 BMW M5. Other episodes were quite sombre such as ‘Powder Keg’ which features Clive Owen’s ‘The Driver’ extracting a war photographer from a war torn country in a BMW X5. The photographer unfortunately meets an untimely death before he makes it out of the country.
Apart from the thematic complexity of ‘The Hire’ and the high production values coupled with a team of talented actors, directors and producers, it was really a stand out film series as it was done to promote BMW’s then range of cars. However, it did this without losing authenticity as a genuine work of art and as a bona fide film series. Never once do the BMW cars featured feel as if they were forced into the script as some sort of product placement. In fact, ‘The Hire’ had a large influence on the Luc Besson produced film ‘The Transporter’ which is based on a similar premise, starring Jason Statham as the transporter(The Driver).
Fans of the film series will be pleased to know that BMW is making another series of films entitled ‘The Escape.’ South african director Neil Blomkamp of District 9 fame will direct ‘The Escape.’ The film series will feature Clive Owen, returning to play the role of ‘The Driver’ alongside Dakota Fanning, Jon Bernthal and Vera Farmiga. The Escape is set to premier on OCT 23 on BMW’s film website.