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"We're not going to let Glenview become ground zero for an alien invasion!" The upcoming Fox feature Neighborhood Watch is a sci-fi comedy that pits a bunch of goofy suburban dads--played by Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade--against invaders from outer space. It has absolutely nothing to do with the tragic death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin at the hands of George Zimmerman, who claimed self-defense as a member of a "neighborhood watch." However, in the wake of the Zimmerman scandal, that phrase has taken on a distressing connotation, forcing Fox to revise their movie's title, calling it simply The Watch.
The studio has officially re-christened the comedy with the new red-band trailer seen below, courtesy of IGN:
Fox has been struggling over how to handle the film's marketing since the Martin case became national news. At first, the studio responded by backing off on their ad campaign in Florida, pulling the feature's teaser trailer and promo posters from theaters in the state. From there they announced future ad efforts would focus on the extraterrestrial element of the comedy, hoping to pull focus away from its still troublesome title's ties to the Florida fiasco. But risk assessment must have favored a more dramatic shift, and so Fox finally made the generally risky move of changing the film's title only weeks before its release. However, I can't imagine this tactic will prove too damning to The Watch as its core audience will have been following this story to some degree, and as for the rest of its would-be audience, the cast alone should suffice to score their interest.
The Watch opens July 27th.