With Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill headlining, "Neighborhood Watch" might be one of the year's most anticipated comedies, but this situation is nothing to laugh about.
After the tragic, real-life shooting of high-schooler Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch captain, somehow promoting this space-alien comedy doesn't seem quite right, which is why the powers-that-be have pulled the first teaser poster and trailers from its Florida theaters.
The teaser poster for the flick features the silhouette of an alien on a neighborhood watch street sign that's riddled with bullet holes, in reference to the movie's storyline about a group of men who try to stop an alien invasion—though it unfortunately brings to mind the young Martin, gunned down by a seemingly dangerous neighborhood watch volunteer.
"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," a Fox spokesperson tells the Hollywood Reporter.
"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. 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."
Though the studio has pulled the promotions out of deference to the growing controversy, as of now, there are no plans to change the flick's July 27 release date. (Guess they're hoping the story will have blown over by then.)
Regardless of how the real-life case turns out, one thing is certain: Fox isn't wasting any time moving on to the second phase of its marketing campaign, which will include a poster featuring the stars and comedic aspects—and not include bullet holes.