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Clive Owen to reprise Driver role in BMW film

The Escape finds Owen again hired to chauffeur a high-profile client

Published: September 21, 2016, 10:30 PM
Updated: September 24, 2016, 2:46 AM

Clive Owen in The Escape

Clive Owen in The Hire series

Academy Award nominee Clive Owen is returning to the driver’s seat to celebrate the 15th anniversary of BMW’s legendary series The Hire.

BMW Films will premiere The Escape, a short co-written and directed by another Academy Award nominee, and Vancouver Film School alumnus, Neill Blomkamp (the South African screenwriter of District 9). In addition to Owen, the film also features Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga (as Best Supporting Actress for Up in the Air), multiple award winner and nominee Dakota Fanning (best known for her roles in I Am Sam, The Runaways, War of the Worlds and the Twilight saga), and Jon Bernthal (best known for his role of Shane Walsh in The Walking Dead, and Punisher in Daredevil).

The Escape finds the Driver (Owen), again hired to chauffeur a high-profile client (looks as if that may be Fanning from the teaser trailer) and pursued by antagonists (some paramilitary force headed by Bernthal). There’s apparently lots of firepower, explosions, outrageous stunts and some extraordinary driving featuring a BMW model (rumoured to be the new M550i).

The venture also brings back Creative Consultant David Carter (who co-wrote the film with Blomkamp), Creative Director Bruce Bildsten, and Executive Producer Brian DiLorenzo.

Clive Owen and Madonna in Star

The Hire was an 8-film series of 10-minute shorts, four each in 2001 and 2002. Its films were directed by acclaimed directors such Ang Lee, Guy Ritchie, Alejandro G. Iñárritu , John Woo, John Frankenheimer and Tony Scott. The second season as executive-produced by Ridley Scott and brother Tony.

In addition to Owen, the series starred notable A-list actors Gary Oldman, Forest Whitaker, Don Cheadle, Ray Liotta and Mickey Rourke, as well as well known actors such as Maury Chaykin, Stellan Skarsgård, Robert Patrick, Kathryn Morris, Danny Trejo and Dennis Haysbert, musicians James Brown, Madonna and Marilyn Manson, and Victoria’s Secret model Adriana Lima.

Clive Owen and Forest Whitaker in The Follow

The Hire films were critically acclaimed, with the third in the series — The Follow, directed by renowned Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai, and starring Whitaker, Rourke and Lima — debuting at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, and leading to the creation of a new Advertising award at Cannes (The Titanium Lion) to honour creative ideas that point to a new direction for an industry and redefine the creative landscape.

Of particular note is that The Hire series generated over 100 million views, three years before the creation of Youtube.

The Escape premieres on BMWFilms.com at 6 pm EST on Sunday, October 23, 2016.