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.