The BMW Films series caused a stir in 2001 and 2002 by combining top-quality cinematography, Hollywood names and driving excitement to sell its sporty wares in a whole new way. By arriving five years before YouTube, they ranked as some of the earliest viral videos on the internet. By now, these sorts of films are almost commonplace, but back when BMW hit upon the idea, the idea of brand-integrated short films on the internet was still a novelty. Now, for the first time in over a decade, the German automaker is planning on bringing back BMW Films for a new season.

Trudy Hardy, BMW North America Vice President of Marketing, announced the series' return at the 2014 Automotive News World Congress in Detroit, according to Ad Age. However, neither the German brand nor Anonymous Content, the original production company, have been willing to comment further on when the new videos are coming.

The original series of eight films starred Clive Owen as the Driver (back then, Owen was largely unknown to American audiences), a mercenary who would take a variety of jobs and always drive a BMW. David Fincher executive produced the first season and directors included top names like John Frankenheimer, Ang Lee and Guy Ritchie. All of the second season movies had Owen driving a Z4, but in our estimation, the quality had fallen off a bit compared to the outstanding first season.

Given BMW's new slate of new models including the M3/M4, M235i and i8, it would seem to be the perfect time for the new series. However, this time, it's taking on similarly styled viral videos from practically every automaker. Scroll down to reacquaint yourself with all of the original BMW Films. Star (fourth film below), which features Madonna being thrown around an M5, remains a highlight.
















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  • 27 Comments
      mix35
      • 10 Months Ago
      Those were great short films and after that many of the other other manufacturers followed. Even to this day the manufacturers are still using that formula. I remembered when they had all the films on the website and you could actually signup on the BMW website and get a free dvd with all of them ( Stupid me I gave mine away). Will be interesting to see which vehicles they use. I just hope they choose a Sakhir Orange M6 Grand Coupe for one of them. But which ever cars they use I am sure the whole seious will be awesome
      mikeybyte1
      • 10 Months Ago
      I loved these films. But I had no idea they were pre-YouTube! Thanks for making me feel really really old!
      Tony
      • 10 Months Ago
      The little known fact about the hire series is that there were messages and clues hidden in plain view. For example there was a phone number on a note that was passed to the driver. Following all of these clues led you to meet at a corner in NYC one night that summer. My friend and I went. BMW had the E38 from the film there, complete with bullet holes and all. There were about 40 people that showed up. BMW gave everyone a special edition of the DVDs and to plus all out for drinks at a local pub. That was the great thing about the hire series...BMW doing som
      Robbie
      • 10 Months Ago
      God this really makes me miss the old BMW.....that was such a great lineup
      Andrew Pappas
      • 10 Months Ago
      I can see it now, an i3 with a low charge gauge, frantically looking for a charge port...then dealing with a long line at the nearby Starbucks...followed by three hours reading a book in a comfy chair so he can have enough charge to get home.
      D E S I G N
      • 10 Months Ago
      aaahhhh....yes. Back in the day when the 7 series had a purposeful elegance to it, unlike the obese pig that is out there today. How sad.
        camillejames25
        • 8 Months Ago
        @D E S I G N
        The 7series is an old rich guy car. For old rich guys to buy. The rest of us prob want something smaller and sleeker. But I could tolerate driving that '99 7 series in the Transporter movie if you insisted : )
      ksrcm
      • 10 Months Ago
      Next up: - X4M - 2 Sport Tourer M-performance 230d X-Drive MSport - New 7 series with training wheels so they can get it to swing the tail
      chad.pattyson
      • 10 Months Ago
      To everyone on here posting about how they miss the old BMW (which I do too), blame your country. The brain dead American consumer ruined BMWs lineup with the demands for such stupid garbage like massaging seats and heated steering wheels. The result is a bunch of fat uninspiring vehicles bought by pretentious middle class to give the appearance of being more wealthy then they are. Same thing is happening to Mercedes. I only pray that VW doesn't bow to stupid demands to try and improve their sales in the. The world already has to suffer the existence of the **** Jetta and the hideous 1 series coupe because Americans don't like hatchbacks.
        Actionable Mango
        • 10 Months Ago
        @chad.pattyson
        No, the reason why BMW continuously dilutes it's brand with ever-excessive offerings is the corporate pursuit of growth. They completely and utterly conquered the enthusiast crowd and the only place left to grow the brand is a wider market. Also, the USA does not have a monopoly on pretentious upper middle class BMW owners.
      Timothy Neal Templet
      • 10 Months Ago
      Back in 2001 I loved BMW. I had a new 3 Series and i thought it was great. I remember as a BMW owner, they mailed me the complete movie collection on DVD. I thought the films were very cool and watched them all several times. Later, an electrical problem in the air conditioner caused my beautiful red 3 series to catch on fire and burn up. I then bought a MiniCooper S which has turned out to be the absolute worst automobile purchase I've ever made in my life. Personally, I don't give a damn about their upcoming movies. I do now now that they don't care about quality, honesty or customer loyalty. In my opinion, if they are going to make more movies, they should be cartoons.
      MotionDesigner
      • 10 Months Ago
      Sorry Chris Bruce, but these were not "viral" videos. The whole concept of "viral" didn't even exist when BMW made these films. Viral, in advertising terms, means to spread quickly and easily, usually while trying to look like authentic amateur videos rather than professionally produced videos, in an attempt to shock or surprise the viewers. The product or logo is placed in an inconspicuous area so as not to make it look obvious, but rather subliminal. The only way to watch the BMW Films, initially, is if you ordered the actual DVD (which was free btw) from BMW's website. But they weren't widespread and certainly were not "viral". People use that term way too loosely now and its meaning has become convoluted and lost. But as far as "promotional films" for large companies goes, BMW practically started that trend with their BMW Films. Mercedes tried to copy them several years later with some type of "heist" video series but it was lame as hell. 'Star', and 'Powder Keg' ftw.
      Phoneboy101
      • 10 Months Ago
      They were great cars then, and still are today. I do understand the nostalgia, but not the hate for their current lineup. Sure, cars in general are getting more complex and computercentric, but that's industry-wide. The 3 series hasn't lost its driving dynamic since 2000, and the 1 series has surpassed it. Anyway, those movies were a lot of fun and were genuinely entertaining. I hope they shoot the hell out of the cars and smash them up like they did in some of the originals. Even at the time I loved how unusual it was to sell a luxury product by abusing and destroying it on film. It was almost unapologetically politically incorrect.
        Phoneboy101
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Phoneboy101
        ... could you imagine a Rolex ad showing the watch get smashed with a hammer?
      methos1999
      • 10 Months Ago
      Haha the Guy Ritchie one was priceless!
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