Twentieth Century Fox has changed the name of its alien-invasion comedy “Neighborhood Watch” to “The Watch” to distance the movie from the Feb. 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman.
Fox said: “As the subject matter of this alien-invasion comedy bears no relation whatsoever to the recent tragic events in Florida, the studio altered the title to avoid any accidental or unintended misimpression that it might.”
“The Watch,” which will open July 27, stars Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade. Akiva Schaffer directed the film, which was written by Jared Stern and Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg and Justin Theroux and produced by Shawn Levy and Michael Ewing.
Fox had launched the first “Neighborhood Watch” marketing campaign a few days after the Martin shooting, including a trailer with Hill imitating a gun with his hand to pretend to shoot at teenagers and a bullet-ridden neighborhood watch sign. The studio then announced in March that the initial marketing materials had been released prior to the shooting and noted at that point that the film is a broad-based alien-invasion comedy.