Given the media storm surrounding the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the premise and title of Ben Stiller's latest comedy couldn't be more ill-timed. 20th Century Fox has been in damage control mode over its comedy "Neighborhood Watch," pulling trailers and ads for the big-budget summer flick, the New York Times reports.
Starring Stiller, Jonah Hill and Vince Vaughn, the plot of "Neighborhood Watch" revolves around a group of dads who come together to guard their suburb. In the process, they discover earth-hating aliens and must act to save the world from destruction.
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Due out in theaters on July 27, Fox is understandably redirecting emphasis from the film's premise in order to dissociate it from Trayvon Martin—who was shot and killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, in late February.
The film's original poster—featuring a neighborhood watch sign that has been shot at—is no longer being made available by the studio. However, a trailer that jokingly depicts the film's stars as gang-like, set to Dr. Dre's famed hip-hop track "Still D.R.E.," can still be seen on the movie's official Facebook page.
Fox may have to consider renaming the film or even pushing back its release date if the Martin story endures as a hot news item into July, the Times report points out.
This is not the first time a Stiller movie has been the victim of bad timing: Filmmakers removed and obscured images of the World Trade Center towers for the September release of "Zoolander" in 2001.
'Neighborhood Watch' Teaser Trailer: