The Watch (previously known as Neighborhood Watch) is a 2012 science fiction comedy film directed by Akiva Schaffer and written by Jared Stern, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. It stars Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade. The film follows Evan (Stiller), Bob (Vaughn), Franklin (Hill), and Jamarcus (Ayoade), a group of neighbors who form a suburban neighborhood watch group. When they uncover an alien plot threatening the world, they are forced into action.
The film began its development in 2008 under producer Shawn Levy as a teen-targeted project written by Jared Stern. Between 2009 and late 2010 it saw different directors and stars join the project until November 2010, when it moved in a new direction under Rogen and Goldberg (who rewrote the script for an adult audience). Filming began in October 2011 in the state of Georgia, concluding in January 2012.
The film's marketing campaign was affected by the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood-watch member. As a result, the campaign was refocused on the alien premise instead of the film leads and the film's name was changed from Neighborhood Watch to The Watch. Released on July 27, 2012, the film received generally negative reviews, with critics focusing on the plot, frequent "vulgar and offensive" jokes and numerous product placements. However, the lead cast was more positively received.
In the town of Glenview, Ohio, Evan Trautwig (Ben Stiller) is an active participant in the community and senior manager of the local Costco store. His life is disrupted when the store's night security guard, Antonio Guzman (Joseph A. Nunez) is murdered. The local police have no leads, and show no interest in investigating further. Determined to find the killer and bring him to justice, Evan decides to form a neighborhood watch. However, he only manages to recruit Bob (Vince Vaughn), a construction worker and loving father; Franklin (Jonah Hill), a high school dropout who dreams of being a police officer but failed the written, physical, and mental-health tests; and Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade), a recent divorcé.