FOX, the studio behind the film, has removed the Neighborhood Watch teaser poster and trailer from Florida theaters. They also plan on removing the ads nationwide.
The studio told The Hollywood Reporter that the ads were pulled “out of deference to the growing controversy” surrounding Martin’s death.
The poster in question shows the silhouette of an extraterrestial on a neighborhood watch street sign that's riddled with bullet holes, in reference to the movie's storyline about a group of men, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade, who are trying to stop an alien invasion.
While the star-studded comedy does not mirror real-life events, the trailer, which is playing in theaters before 21 Jump Street, shows the four actors driving through their neighborhood where at one point, Hill's character, using his hand, pretends to shoot at a group of teenagers.
Instead, the teaser trailer will be available online and the official film poster, which highlight’s the stars and the comedic aspects of the film, will be used as FOX moves onto the second phase of the film’s media campaign.
Since Neighborhood Watch does not open for months, the original July 27 release date will not be changed.
"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 told The Hollywood Reporter.
"… 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."
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