Back in 2001, BMW released eight short films as part of a series titled The Hire. Starring Clive Owen as “the Driver,” the films highlighted the exceptional performance of BMW vehicles, with a healthy dose of action thrown in to make for an entertaining and exciting watch.

At the helm of the films were world-famous directors, including John Frankenheimer, Ang Lee, Wong Kar Wai, Guy Ritchie, Alejandro González Iñárritu, John Woo, Joe Carnahan and Tony Scott. The films also featured appearances from other stars like Madonna, Gary Oldman, Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, F. Murray Abraham and James Brown.

The Hire proved to be one of the most fondly remembered advertising campaigns of its time, with BMW allowing the directors total creative freedom in making each film. The films were released online, but only on BMW’s official site, as it will be four years before YouTube was founded.

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However, thanks to some users who have uploaded the films, you only need to perform a quick search with the term “BMW The Hire” on YT to be able to enjoy these films (or just refer below). And if you’re left wanting for more…

Good news! BMW is bringing back “the Driver” for a new film called The Escape, and you can catch the first official sneak peek of it now on YouTube or BMWFilms.com. The teaser has everything to get you psyched up – explosions, car chases, a Hummer smashing into things, etc.

This time, the 11-minute short film is directed by Neill Blomkamp (of District 9 and Elysium fame) and boasting Clive Owen reprising his role (in what appears to be the G30 5 Series), alongside Dakota Fanning, Jon Bernthal and Vera Farmiga. The Escape will premiere on Sunday, October 23 on the BMWFilms.com website, but for now, let’s get the hype train rolling again.