When the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, an enthusiastic neighborhood watch participant, became national news, Fox pretended to be unfazed by the effect the story might have on its sci-fi comedy Neighborhood Watch. The film is directed by Akiva Schaffer of The Lonely Island, and stars Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Richard Ayoade, and Jonah Hill as, well, overly-enthusiastic neighborhood watch participants who stumble on a world-threatening event. The studio pulled early marketing materials for the movie, but in general acted like not much else would change.

But the Trayvon Martin case has continued to be a national, even international subject of discussion. And so Fox has changed the name of the film to The Watch, and released a red-band trailer to wipe away our memories of the first title. Check out that trailer below. Read More »

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Saturday Night Live was partially revived as a cultural force thanks to the Digital Shorts created by The Lonely Island team of Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer and Andy Samberg. In the several years since ‘Lazy Sunday’ was one of the first mainstream web video hits, we’ve seen dozens of Digital Shorts come and go.

All told, Laser Cats 7 isn’t anywhere near the top tier of SNL Digital Shorts when it comes to comedy, but this one does boast something others don’t: Steven Spielberg. The short features the director pitching an idea to SNL producer Lorne Michaels, and as the pitch plays out we see echoes of most of Spielberg’s major films.

The video is after the break, but as with many clips hosted on Hulu and NBC, those outside the US may not be able to view. Apologies for that, as the restrictions are out of our control. Read More »

Days ago a friend  brought up a question that I didn’t give much thought to at the time: how soon might Fox take action to rename and/or change the marketing for the Akiva Schaffer-directed sci-fi comedy Neighborhood Watch, starring Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill and Vince Vaughn? The film seems pretty innocuous, as it portrays a group of neighborhood guys who form a local watch group to get out of the house, but find themselves facing a global threat.

The problem being that many in the US are consumed with anger over the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin by an overzealous real-life neighborhood watch member. (In fact, the man who fatally shot Martin wasn’t even a member of a truly legitimate watch crew.) Now THR reports that Fox has pulled the early marketing materials for the film (the teaser trailer and poster) out of Florida, and is “quickly moving on to the second phase of its campaign for the star-studded comedy.” Read More »

‘Neighborhood Watch’ Teaser Trailer and Poster

The phrase “When it rains it pours” applies to a lot of things and movie trailers tend to be one of them. So far today we’ve had The Avengers and Piranha 3DD. Now there’s Neighborhood Watch, which aspires to be one of the summer’s biggest comedies. It stars Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Billy Crudup, Richard Ayoade and more.

Directed by Akiva Schaffer (Hot Rod) and written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (Superbad), the film follows “a handful of suburban dads who end up over their heads when their time-killing neighborhood safety group uncovers a dangerous plot that is beyond what they expected to deal with.”

The 20th Century Fox film will be released July 27 and you can get your first look at it now. Read More »

Lonely Island member Akiva Schaffer wrapped the Atlanta shoot for Neighborhood Watch not long ago, and here are the first pics from the film. The movie features Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd, director of Submarine), Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill in a story about a handful of suburban dads who end up over their heads when their time-killing neighborhood safety group uncovers a dangerous plot that is beyond what they expected to deal with. See two full images below. Read More »

Olivia Wilde has landed the coveted role of ’70s supermodel Suzy Miller in Rush, Ron Howard‘s Peter Morgan-scripted drama about the real-life rivalry between British Formula One driver James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Austrian racer Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl). Miller married the womanizing Hunt, but then fell in love with Hunt’s friend Richard Burton. Burton agreed to pay the $1 million divorce settlement that Hunt owned Miller, and then married Miller.

Howard is reportedly eyeing Russell Crowe to play the supporting role of Burton, but it doesn’t sound like negotiations are too far along at this time. Rush began preliminary shooting last month, but real principal photography is starting soon. [Deadline]

After the jump, Billy Crudup gets to show off his comedic chops while Helen Hunt, Maggie Grace, and Aaron Paul get to fight breast cancer.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Denzel Washington has reportedly been offered the lead role in the English-language remake of The Secret in Their Eyes, which is being helmed by Billy Ray (Shattered Glass). The original Argentinian version, by director Juan José Campanella, was a critical success that won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Picture in 2010. In other words, no wonder someone in Hollywood’s decided to try and make it all over again.

The dramatic thriller centers around a retired criminal court investigator turned would-be novelist who’s struggling to get over a murder case and a romance that have haunted him for decades. Campanella’s film won raves for its unpredictable plotting, impressive camerawork, and excellent performances. I don’t think the American version sounds bad, so much as just pointless — but if it has to get remade, I suppose there are worse choices than Ray and Washington. [First Showing]

After the jump, Will Forte joins Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn in Neighborhood Watch, and Isla Fisher lands magician heist flick Now You See Me.

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As much as I enjoyed Submarine, I’m thrilled to see that director Richard Ayoade hasn’t decided to forsake his acting career completely. Ayoade is probably best known for his turn as painfully awkward computer tech Moss in the Brit comedy series The IT Crowd, where he proves to be a warm, uniquely hilarious presence from episode to episode. Now Ayoade is set to bring his brand of funny to the States in Akiva Schaffer‘s sci-fi action comedy Neighborhood Watch, where he’ll star alongside Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Ben Stiller, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Nicholas Braun. More details after the jump.

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Here’s a ‘family feud’ themed set of casting updates. After the break you’ll find info on:

  • Adam Scott dealing with his feuding parents in A.C.O.D.,
  • Bill Paxton facing off against Kevin Costner in The Hatfields and the McCoys,
  • and Rosemarie DeWitt sparring with husband Ben Stiller before a bigger threat — aliens — comes to town in Neighborhood Watch.

Read More »