Shortly after 20th Century Fox decided to yank the first poster and teaser trailer for "Neighborhood Watch" in Florida, the film's lead actor Ben Stiller and producer Shawn Levy weighed in on the issue. They explained that Fox's decision was right given the bad timing to display the ads in the wake of Trayvon Martin shooting case.
"We are very sensitive to what's going on," so Levy told Entertainment Weekly. Still, the "Real Steel" helmer insisted that the comedy doesn't contain any issue related to the incident that sparked nationwide protests. "But other than the name of the organization, there is zero overlap between the movie and what's going on in Florida. It's very much a comedy that pits regular guys against a non-Earthly foe," he explained.
Following the decision to pull the film's ads from cinemas in Florida, there have been no discussions about pushing back the July 27 release date of the upcoming comedy. Thus, Stiller believes that the movie will still be released based on its planned schedule.
"You're talking to the guy who had the first comedy out after 9/11," so the comedian claimed. "We just put 'Zoolander' out there. There were questions about whether it was too early for a comedy, but we couldn't find a reason why there shouldn't be a comedy in the world."
Previously, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Fox has yanked "Neighborhood Watch" ads following the tragedy that claimed the life of the black teenager who was shot by a neighborhood watch captain in Sanford. A representative for the studio said, "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," 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."
"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.
The film is directed by Akiva Schaffer with Seth Rogen penning the script. Joining Stiller in the cast ensemble are Jonah Hill, Vince Vaughn, Richard Ayoade, Rosemarie DeWitt and Nicholas Braun.