The Watch

Posted: 08/17/2012 in Movie Update



Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn reunite in “The Watch” along with Jonah Hill and British comedian Richard Ayoade who band together in the film to uncover the mysterious events happening in their neighborhood.

Ben Stiller’s Evan is a senior manager at the superstore Costco, having made a not-so-lightning-fast ascent to that position from assistant manager. Evan is a dedicated employee, but his heart is with the Glenview Neighborhood Watch, of which he is the founder and CEO. “Evan is very community-oriented,” says Stiller, “because he has so few friends, and these clubs give him the opportunity to meet new people.”

Evan’s straight-laced, buttoned-down personality is a perfect fit for organizing clubs, but it’s not paying off socially. Stiller says he found it challenging to figure out the mindset of a man whose life is defined by a relentless pursuit of order. “I’m not very orderly,” explains the actor, who is currently starring in and directing “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” “It wasn’t easy getting inside the mind of a meticulous, stoic and organized guy.”

Regarding the role’s more physical requirements, Stiller was comfortable with the fight scenes, where The Watch takes on the would-be conquerors from a distant world, but less so with a scene that required him to drive a forklift during a climactic battle. “There was lots of action captured on camera, but driving the forklift made for some of the most frightening times on the set – for the crew,” says the actor.

Evan’s polar opposite is Vince Vaughn’s Bob, who is the id to Evan’s superego, the yang to his yin, and, says Schaffer, “a fun loving family man – to the max.” For Bob, The Watch is his fraternal Shangri-La – an escape from the everyday responsibilities of family life. The Watch means hanging with his new friends; enjoying some titty magazines, dirty jokes, and beers; and saying things like, “We’re gonna tear up shit, boys.”

“Bob is longing to hang out with the guys, have some drinks, talk about guy stuff, and let off some steam,” says Vaughn. And ground zero for all the raucous fun is Bob’s tricked-out garage/man-cave and its wet bar, massage chairs, widescreen TV, and pool table.

“Bob is a big Teddy bear of a guy,” says Levy, who is currently directing Vaughn, along with Owen Wilson, in the comedy “The Internship.” “He’s boisterous and gregarious and in The Watch as much for the bromance as for the responsibilities of ensuring his neighbors’ safety.”

The actors and filmmakers were determined to bring an audacity and boldness to THE WATCH. “The film’s DNA doesn’t feel familiar,” notes producer Shawn Levy (“Real Steel,” “Night at the Museum”), “so we needed a director with a fresh sensibility and who would never play it safe.” Enter Akiva Schaffer, who directs, co-writes and edits most of the iconic “Saturday Night Live” Digital Shorts. Says Ben Stiller: “Akiva has a comedy chip in his brain. He’s a genius editor and a true child of the digital age.”


The script required a high level of envelope-pushing. “We had a great script from [co-screenwriter] Jared Stern, but we didn’t want to play it safe and we were determined to make it daring and unexpected,” says Levy. Seth Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg, who had collaborated on screenplays for “Superbad” and “Pineapple Express,” came aboard the project, and their script delved deeply into the group’s skewed dynamics. “The alchemy of the script and Schaffer’s unique voice felt like a really good match,” says Levy. “This is the real thing, not only in its use of language but in its sensibilities, which far exceed the boundaries of good taste.”

“The Watch” opens September 5 in theaters from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

ben stiller jonah hill richard ayoade vince vaughn


Meet the neighborhood watch: civic-minded Evan (Ben Stiller), fun-loving family guy Bob (Vince Vaughn), tough-talking “wild card” Franklin (Jonah Hill) and the looking-for-love divorcé Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade). In a seemingly serene suburban enclave and safe haven, Evan Bob, Franklin and Jamarcus have decided to join forces to safeguard their community. In addition, they’re enjoying some of the perks that come with being a “Watcher”… like drinking beer and just being guys.

But when the guys’ patrol vehicle hits something that leaves behind a trail of green goo and a tentacle of some sort, and they find a strange, bowling ball-like device that emits a concentrated beam of energy – they realize that their little group has stumbled onto something bigger than a prowler on the loose.

“When they formed this ‘band of brothers’, the guys thought, sure, they might encounter some weird neighborhood stuff – maybe a burglar here, or peeping tom there – but suddenly they realize they’ve facing something extraordinary,” says producer Shawn Levy, the director of such hits as “Night at the Museum” and “Real Steel.” “And The Watch is not just unprepared or unqualified, it’s not remotely equipped to deal with this problem; yet it’s all on them to stop it.”

To play the four members of “The Watch,” Levy and director Akiva Schaffer (a creative force on several famed “Saturday Night Live” short films) tapped three comedy icons and a fast-rising talent. “We wanted the best,” says Levy,” and so we went out and got the best – three titans …together in the same movie! And then we threw in the ‘grenade’ of ‘what the hell are you going to get with Richard Ayoade?’”

Beyond the hilarity lies a story about four guys who were not complete, or their best selves, until they joined forces. As Bob admits to Evan: “You took a ragtag group of misfits and taught us there was something bigger than a few beers and some bro-time. You taught us about community and how important it is.”

At its core, “The Watch” is a story with universal appeal, “It’s about four regular guys who might remind you of your brother, dad or husband,” Levy sums up. “Suddenly, they come together to battle something they have absolutely no clue how to deal with.”

And when it comes to friendship, marriage, career, family – or protecting the world – it’s always best to watch out for one another.

“The Watch” opens September 5 in cinemas from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.




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