March 28th, 2012
06:07 PM ET
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.”
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