Hollywood celebrities were out in force at this year’s Directors Guild Awards, with A-list stars such as Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone leading the way. BMW was also there in its role as an event sponsor to witness Alejandro G. Iñárritu's presentation of the most prestigious award of the evening. Now one of the film industry’s leading directors, back in 2001 Iñárritu worked on the online series The Hire, which was produced by BMW and enjoyed unprecedented success. The creative bond between BMW and Hollywood dates back many years – and is more dynamic than ever.
- Lead photos
- Peopleimages/iStock (background), Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images [M]
- Iris Vanderfelde
It was no coincidence that it was a BMW that James Bond drove as his motorized super gadget in 1997. The British secret agent controlled a BMW 750iL using his mobile phone during an action-packed car chase. Its appearance in Tomorrow Never Dies, one of the most successful Bond movies of all time, earned the car a place in film history with this synergistic meeting of cutting-edge automotive technology and cinematic spectacle.
Since Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, a BMW has also been Tom Cruise’s car of choice in the action series. Most recently, Cruise performed breathtaking stunts at the wheel of a BMW M3 in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015).
“The BMW brand’s long-standing involvement with the Directors Guild Awards illustrates how our company maintains close ties with Hollywood.”
Uwe Dreher, Head of Brand Communication BMW
BMW enjoyed unprecedented success with The Hire, its first series of shorts, whose episodes were shot by star directors, including Guy Ritchie and Alejandro G. Iñárritu. The Hire was released only on the internet and managed to rack up more than a hundred million views at a time when online videos were not nearly as popular as they are today. In the sequel The Escape, which has been available to watch at www.bmwfilms.com since the end of 2016, Clive Owen reprised his role from The Hire as the nameless driver at the wheel of a BMW - this time a BMW 5 Series. It was directed by Oscar-nominated director Neill Blomkamp, with Oscar-nominated Vera Farmiga and Dakota Fanning rounding out the star-studded cast.
The fact that 2017 marked the fourth time in succession that BMW assumed the role of automotive sponsor at the DGA (Directors Guild of America) Awards, which are highly regarded in film circles, underscores the extensive creative collaboration between BMW and Hollywood. The awards are presented every year in recognition of outstanding directorial achievements and are seen as an early indicator of the direction the Oscars will take. The crème de la crème of Hollywood once again graced the red carpet at this year’s ceremony: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Amy Adams, Nicole Kidman, Casey Affleck, Helen Mirren and Isabelle Huppert, to name but a few.
Alejandro G. Iñárritu presented the Feature Film award to Damien Chazelle (who went on to win the Oscar as well) for his film La La Land. Michael Fassbender and Billy Crudup presented the Lifetime Achievement award to cult director Ridley Scott, whose films include Alien and Blade Runner. This year’s First-Time Feature Film award went to Garth Davis for his directorial work on the film Lion.
“The BMW brand’s longstanding involvement with the Directors Guild Awards illustrates how our company maintains close ties with Hollywood. More than ever, BMW is an active partner in the movie industry,” explains Uwe Dreher, Head of Brand Communication BMW.
The current promotional campaign for the new BMW 5 Series, featuring Scott Eastwood in a key role, is further proof of the strength of this bond. Away from the cameras, the actor is also a serious car buff and BMW enthusiast. This goes to show that, despite all the glitz of Hollywood, a partnership with BMW always has something authentic at its roots. After all, both the movie industry and BMW are striving to achieve parallel goals: technological innovation, attractive design, passion and (driving) pleasure.