Twentieth Century Fox has changed the name of its summer comedy about an alien invasion from Neighborhood Watch to The Watch in order to avoid assumptions that the film is a reference to the February 26th shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
“As the subject matter of this alien-invasion comedy bears no relation whatsoever to the recent tragic events in Florida, the studio altered the title to avoid any accidental or unintended misimpression that it might,” the studio said in a statement.
In March, Fox pulled the film’s promotional materials from Florida theatres and stopped airing ads and the original trailer throughout the U.S. Since then, a new trailer has been cut and released.
In February, 17-year-old Martin was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman after what is widely believed to be a racially-motivated confrontation in a Florida suburb. The case sparked widespread outrage and protests, and Zimmerman was eventually arrested and charged with second-degree murder. He has since been released on bail.
The Watch is an R-rated comedy starring Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade and Ben Stiller whose plot revolves around a neighborhood watch group that uncovers an alien plot to destroy the Earth. The film opens in US theatres on June 27 and in UK theatres on August 29.
Watch: The Watch trailer (contains strong language)