20th Century Fox has pulled the marketing materials of the upcoming comedy out of deference to the tragedy that claimed the life of the black teenager who was shot by a neighborhood watch captain.
In the wake of Trayvon Martin shooting case, 20th Century Fox has decided to pull off the first teaser poster and teaser trailer of "Neighborhood Watch" from theaters in Florida last week. Considering the bad timing, the studio stated that it yanked the promotional materials out of deference to the tragedy.
A representative for Fox told The Hollywood Reporter of the decision, "We are very sensitive to the Trayyon Martin case, but our film is a broad alien-invasion comedy and bears absolutely no relation to the tragic events in Florida." The studio claimed that it will not change the movie's July 27 release date in the U.S.
"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," added the spokesperson. "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."
Martin was shot by an armed neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, in the Central Florida community of Sanford on February 26. Following the incident, Fox decided to pull the film's poster, which features silhouette of an alien on a street sign that is riddled with bullet holes. The studio will replace the one-sheet in theaters nationwide as soon as possible.
The teaser trailer, meanwhile, gives a look at Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Richard Ayoade and Jonah Hill strolling around their neighborhood in an SUV. At one point, Hill's character is seen using his hand, pretending to shoot a group of unarmed teenagers.
Directed by Akiva Schaffer and written by Seth Rogen, "Neighborhood Watch" follows four suburban guys who come together to form a neighborhood watch group, but only as an excuse to escape their humdrum lives one night a week. However, when they accidentally discover that their town has become overrun with aliens posing as ordinary suburbanites, they have no choice but to save their neighborhood from total extermination.