'Neighborhood Watch' studio: Film has no relation to Trayvon case
March 28th, 2012
06:07 PM ET

'Neighborhood Watch' studio: Film has no relation to Trayvon case

Twentieth Century Fox's sci-fi comedy "Neighborhood Watch" was set to release this year long before Sanford, Florida neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in what Zimmerman says was self-defense.

But in light of Martin's February death, the studio is now trying to emphasize what the movie is actually about ahead of its July 27 release.

Starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill, who also co-wrote the film, "Neighborhood Watch" is about a group of dads who form a neighborhood watch team in hopes to get time away from their families, only to uncover an alien invasion plot.

As Forbes notes, the title of the film might now strike an ominous tone with potential moviegoers, who are likely paying rapt attention to the details surrounding the case, and the movie's trailer doesn't help.

The clip depicts the "neighborhood watch" team driving through a subdivision, which may unintentionally have some viewers recalling the events that led to Martin's death. At one point, Hill's character pantomimes aiming a gun out of the car's window.

It's unclear if Fox is pulling the trailer or simply pressing ahead with the intent to drive home the point that this movie doesn't bear any connection to, nor is intending to be insensitive of, the Martin case.

In a statement, 20th Century Fox tells CNN:

“We are very sensitive to the Trayvon Martin case, but our film is a broad alien invasion comedy and bears absolutely no relation to the tragic events in Florida. The movie, which is not scheduled for release for several months, was made and these initial marketing materials were released before this incident ever came to light. The teaser materials were part of an early phase of our marketing and were never planned for long-term use. Above all else, our thoughts go out to the families touched by this terrible event.”


soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Amethyst Moon

    If movies were pulled for the possibility of being insensitive to families of violence, we would only have movies with puppy dogs and lollipops. The Trayvon case is tragic, but it is one murder case in a country full of murders. The media should move on and let the justice system decide what happened.

    April 1, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Debbie

    Oh grow up! This movie was made long before George Zimmerman took a 9mm and ended a young man's life. Tragic? Yes. Unnecessiary and unprovoked? Yes. But the wrong actions of one law enforcement wanna be is not going to stop the release of the movie.

    March 29, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Gouda

    knew it, that d@mn treyvon be an alien, this movie 'bout him yo. much disrespect

    March 29, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. Mandy

    Sometimes grizzly bears and sharks do too. Those things are way dangerous. People should maybe try to stay away from them.

    March 29, 2012 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. citizen

    Guns do not kill people... People kill people!

    March 28, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. citizen

    Fox is disgracing Trayvon Martin death and mocking him, by releasing the Neighborhood Watch footage showing the watchmen as ' watchmen listening to rap with imaginary finger guns pointed at the community.' THE USA HAS TOO MANY GUNS IN MOVIES!!!!! I am boycotting the movie 'Neighborhood Watch' forever. FOX has crossed the line, by jumping to release their footage that mocks his death. Fox should take all images of guns and finger pointing like guns out of the movie in respect to Trayvon's family, the community, and all others negatively affected by gun violence. Gun stories are not comedies in real life, they are tragedies.

    March 28, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • IT..

      ..WAS SELF DEFENSE WUNT IT

      March 28, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • sanecitizen

      You are ridiculous and unintelligent. They made this BEFORE the Trayvon Martin case, so how could it possibly be made to mock the whole thing. Oh, that's right, it CAN'T. It's a comedy, so they are obviously trying to make fun of the idea that neighborhood watch doesn't really have that much power, but act like they do. This is just an extreme exaggeration that brings humor to this movie. It's not their fault that a neighborhood watch man killed someone in SELF DEFENSE I might add. The Trayvon Martin case is a case of self defense, so I'm sorry that I don't feel completely sympathetic towards Trayvon although I would rather he lived. It still has absolutely no relation to a movie about an alien invasion...

      March 29, 2012 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
    • sanecitizen

      I am referring to citizen " March 28, 2012 at 10:13 pm

      March 29, 2012 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. MeMelvin

    Wrong time to release this movie! I am certain that Ben Stiller made it to be entertaining, but there is and will be for some time bad feelings associated with Neighborhood Watches. I certain hope Hollywood doesn't get stupid about this. Intuitively, there will be negative reaction to the film's release.

    March 28, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |

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