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Jonah Hill Going On A 'Neighborhood Watch'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist August 17, 2011 at 8:12AM

Updated: Reps for Jonah Hill confirm his involvement in this film.
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Updated: Reps for Jonah Hill confirm his involvement in this film.

According to Vulture, the newly swag-looking Jonah Hill is eyeing the upcoming Ben Stiller/Vince Vaughn vehicle "Neighborhood Watch," but it's not quite set in stone just yet. Why? Dude allegedly wants some bank, son. Apparently, the trailer for the forthcoming "Moneyball" has "tested better than any in recent history at Columbia Pictures." That said, please remember that Sony (Columbia's mothership) also moved "The Zookeeper" from a winter to summer date based on test audiences loving Fatty Fall Down, only to see it fizzle. And though test audiences are fickle and unpredictable, "Moneyball" is no Kevin James flick, and Hill is apparently angling for a bit more above his usual pay grade. But frankly, all this is a sideshow to the bigger headscratcher: how on Earth is this movie costing $90 million dollars?

Granted, the movie stars Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn who aren't cheap and will probably take home a nice backend, but we suppose the plot, about a suburban watchdog group who uncover an alien invasion plot, will lend itself to a certain amount of special effects. But who is giving the steering wheel of a $90 million movie to Akiva Schaffer, whose only other movie is "Hot Rod"? Did the "We'll Kill You" video (which is amazing, but obviously super low-fi like most other Lonely Island spots) convince studio heads this is the guy who can command an expensive comedy? How come this can get a greenlight when "Zoolander 2" (or "Anchorman 2") can't (yeah, we're calling you out Paramount and Universal)? Anyway, we like the concept dreamed up by screenwriters Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg but that pricetag seems ludicrous for what it is. We suppose Fox thinks they have a four-quadrant (or whatever they call it) hit in this one, but expensive, high-concept comedies are a gamble, so we'll see if the studio rolls the dice on Hill's payday to bring some added comedy chops to the flick.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, The Watch, Jonah Hill


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