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‘Neighborhood Watch’ Censors Itself in the Wake of Trayvon Martin Shooting

Richard Ayoade, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill in NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH
20th Century Fox

With the recent shooting of Trayvon Martin, 20th Century Fox’s ‘Neighborhood Watch‘ was put in an awkward position of being about something that was no longer just a goof. And – as a result – the studio has pulled ads and trailers from Florida, but has not decided to move the release date from July 27. The longer this tragedy is in the public eye, the more likely it is the film will be postponed.

The Hollywood Reporter talked with Fox about it, and they see little resemblance between what they made and the incident, so they are currently not thinking of moving the picture, which stars Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Richard Ayoade, and Jonah Hill.

Timing is often everything when it comes to a film’s release. Mariah Carey has long blamed the failure of ‘Glitter’ on being released too near September 11 – which is easier than saying she made of a piece of crap – but there is truth to the notion that release dates effect how people see a film. The Martin case is in the spotlight right now, but it’s hard to say how much focus it will have come July. It’s easy to see why Fox is hedging; it’s doubtful the film will address any of the same questions about gun laws or race issues that put the Martin case in the spotlight.

Here’s the teaser trailer for ‘Neighborhood Watch’, which may play differently today:

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