trayvon martin

Neighborhood Watch Is Totally About Aliens, Not Trayvon Martin

Like Skittles before them, 20th Century Fox has found itself with an unfortunate connection to the tragic killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida, and the New York Times is here to analyze the business implications. In July, the studio will release Neighborhood Watch, a movie about space invaders starring Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill, and Vince Vaughn. The movie can’t help but be associated with real-life shooter George Zimmerman, especially with its original promotional materials, which included “image of a bullet-riddled Neighborhood Watch sign — on which the caped figure of Boris the Burglar, a familiar trademark of the National Sheriffs’ Association, has almost imperceptibly turned into a lurking alien.”

That “Neighborhood Watch” should be tainted by even a whiff of the vigilantism at issue in the Martin shooting is attributable not just to the film’s name, but also to an unfortunate decision by Fox to release a brief initial teaser trailer that portrayed its stars as a band of dark-clad heavies cruising their suburban turf to a hip-hop theme. Mr. Hill points his fingers as if firing a gun.

Oops. Today, the Times does their journalistic duty to consider: What if this gem flops? The team behind the film, we learn, “are now left to wonder whether a news-media storm and a ferocious public debate over the shooting and its possible legal consequences have spoiled the fun of a movie that cost over $50 million to make and will cost tens of millions more to market.” The horror.

Neighborhood Watch Is Not About Trayvon Martin