Ben Stiller and Vince Vaugn Ward Off Aliens In ‘The Watch’!

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.

Watch Jonah Hill Transform from Nerdy to Cool in ’21 Jumpstreet’!

Jonah Hill has quickly become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents, due in part to his dynamic evolution from laugh-out-loud comedy star to Golden Globe, SAG, and Academy Award® nominee for Best Supporting Actor in 2011 for his role in Moneyball, in which he starred opposite Brad Pitt.

Now, he makes a successful return to the comedy genre with Columbia Pictures’ 21 Jump Street, an R-13-rated movie that took Hollywood box office by storm.

In the film, Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) were enemies in high school who became unlikely friends in Police Academy. While they may not be the best cops on the beat, they have a chance to turn it around when they join the police department’s secret Jump Street unit, run by Captain Dickson (Ice Cube). They trade in their guns and badges for backpacks and use their youthful appearances to go undercover…in high school!

Jonah Hill’s character, Schmidt, is a onetime nerd who finds himself suddenly cool for the first time in his life. “It’s one of the more interesting characters I’ve played,” says the actor. “He just wants to be a good cop, but he has insecurities that date all the way back to high school. When he gets sent back to high school, undercover, he gets drunk with power, forgets about police work, forgets about his friendship with Jenko. He likes living this fake high school life – better than the life he has as a guy in his mid-20s.” So in essence it’s the story of a guy who gets lost in his moment in the sun.

Hill, who’s also credited as executive producer of “21 Jump Street,” says that the film started with a simple question: “What would it be like to relieve the most important time period of your youth… high school. You think you have all the answers that you didn’t have then, but then you get back there and realize those answers are all wrong. You then immediately revert back to the insecurities and problems you had when you were seventeen.”

Hill wrote the story with Michael Bacall, who wrote the screenplay. “At first, nothing goes as planned for the characters. These guys treat it like wish fulfillment – ‘Oh, if I only knew then what I know now,’” Bacall explains. “But all of the information that they have no longer applies. Jenko – who was always the cool kid back then – falls in with the nerds, and Schmidt – the nerdier of the two – falls in with the cool crowd. It’s a total role reversal.”

According to Hill, the fact that the show has been off the air for a generation worked to their advantage in devising the story and the tone. “I’ll meet teenagers and I’ll ask them if they know the series – they don’t,” he says. “So I tell them it’s about young-looking cops who go undercover in a high school, and they say, ‘That sounds awesome.’ It’s such a great premise for an action-comedy.”

Opening across the Philippines on May 9, “21 Jump Street” will be distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit http://www.columbiapictures.com.ph for trailers, exclusive content and free downloads. Like us at www.Facebook.com/ColumbiaPicturesPH and join our fan contests.

Animation Directors, Tapped to Make ’21 Jump Street’!

Columbia Pictures wanted a fresh take for its new action-comedy 21 Jump Street, so an intense search was held for a director that could make the new vision pop on the screen. They got two for the price of one: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, who had previously helmed the acclaimed animated hit “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.”

 

Could the directors of a family friendly animated film possibly be the right choice for this R-rated live-action action-comedy? “We felt like we wanted to do something that was the exact opposite of what we had just done – although, to be fair, `Cloudy’ is an action comedy, just geared to a different audience. Still, we had a lot to prove,” Miller explains. “So we made a whole presentation that showed what we would do. We knew we had to do a little razzle-dazzle.”

Whatever skepticism the producers may have had was washed away by the meeting. “When they came in, they were incredibly prepared,” says producer Tania Landau. “They had a PowerPoint presentation. They had created a book with every point of the movie and how it should look. I was blown away. The guys were so creative and enthusiastic – we were all in sync.”

One of the reasons that Lord and Miller were so excited by the material was that they wouldn’t just be directing the movie – they would be living out the themes of the story. “When I was growing up, I watched ‘Jump Street’ because the cute girls in my high school were watching it – I wanted to be up on the storylines. So, this project is like coming full circle – I become a cool person by making this movie,” says Lord.

In “21 Jump Street,” Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) were enemies in high school who became unlikely friends in Police Academy. While they may not be the best cops on the beat, they have a chance to turn it around when they join the police department’s secret Jump Street unit, run by Captain Dickson (Ice Cube). They trade in their guns and badges for backpacks and use their youthful appearances to go undercover.

With Hill’s comic sense under Lord and Miller’s direction, combined with producer Neal H. Moritz’ action chops, the project had the perfect mix of talent. “You have Neal Moritz’s `Fast and Furious’ action side, and Jonah Hill style comedy,” says Miller. “Those things combine, explode, and recombine their atoms to make the perfectly formed movie.”

“Neal has produced lots of great and successful action movies,” says Hill. “So I felt that he would be a great partner in making this because I have made a lot of comedies and he has made a lot of action movies and together we could hopefully make a great action comedy.”

“Every time I do an action movie, I feel like we have to top the last one,” says Moritz. “But it’s not about bigger explosions or bigger car crashes – that doesn’t work. The action has to be character-based, it has to be something you haven’t seen before. For `21 Jump Street,’ because it’s an action comedy, we tried to have the action be clever and humorous, to really come out of the characters and their relationships.”

Opening across the Philippines in May, “21 Jump Street” will be distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit http://www.columbiapictures.com.ph for trailers, exclusive content and free downloads. Like us at www.Facebook.com/ColumbiaPicturesPH and join our fan contests.

Rookie Cops Go Undercover as High School Teens in ’21 Jump Street’!

Channing Tatum pairs up with Jonah Hill in Columbia Pictures’ new action-comedy 21 Jump Street, a recent No. 1 box-office hit in the U.S.

In the film, Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) were enemies in high school who became unlikely friends in Police Academy. While they may not be the best cops on the beat, they have a chance to turn it around when they join the police department’s secret Jump Street unit, run by Captain Dickson (Ice Cube). They trade in their guns and badges for backpacks and use their youthful appearances to go undercover.

Trouble is, teenagers today are nothing like what they were just a few years ago, and Schmidt and Jenko discover that everything they think they know about being a teenager, from sex to drugs to rock and roll, is all wrong. More importantly, they both find they are still dealing with all of the adolescent problems they didn’t address in their own teen years – and both will have to confront the terror and anxiety of being a teenager again and all the issues they thought they had left behind.

The idea for breathing new life into “21 Jump Street” as a feature film began with Stephen J. Cannell, who had co-created the popular television series with Patrick Hasburgh back in the day. One of the most venerable, talented, and prolific television writer-producers, Cannell’s many credits – from “The A-Team” to “The Rockford Files” to “The Greatest American Hero” to “Wiseguy,” among many others – earned him a legion of fans and admirers, especially among his colleagues in entertainment.

One such admirer is producer Neal H. Moritz, who has earned his own reputation as a go-to producer of action films. “He was incredibly charismatic – I loved everything about him,” says Moritz of Cannell, who died in 2010 at the age of 69. Moritz recalls their initial meeting: “We started talking about ’21 Jump Street’ and I told him how much I had loved that show. He mentioned that he was working on turning it into a movie, that he was a fan of my movies, and he asked me if I would like to get involved with the project. Are you kidding?”

“21 Jump Street” ran for five seasons, the first four on the nascent Fox network, providing them with one of their first hits. Starring Johnny Depp in his first major role, the drama about young-looking cops going undercover in high schools scored high ratings in the key demographic of young viewers that the then-fledgling network was beginning to court.

Moritz and executive producer Tania Landau immediately saw the promise in updating that premise, but it wasn’t until Jonah Hill became involved that the project really came into focus. “It’s a great concept,” Landau says. “Two young-looking cops go undercover at a high school, and against all odds, bust a drug ring. We make a lot of action movies, so that was how we saw the direction for this project, too. But things changed when we had lunch with Jonah; he suggested doing it as an R-rated action comedy, and suddenly it all fell into place.”

Hill says that it started with a simple question: “What would it be like to relieve the most important time period of your youth… high school. You think you have all the answers that you didn’t have then, but then you get back there and realize those answers are all wrong. You then immediately revert back to the insecurities and problems you had when you were seventeen.”

Moritz and Landau immediately sparked to Hill’s fresh take on the material, and Cannell, too, thought it was a great spin on the “Jump Street” series.

Opening across the Philippines in May, “21 Jump Street” will be distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit http://www.columbiapictures.com.ph for trailers, exclusive content and free downloads. Like us at 

 

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