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    Press Notes for New Sci-Fi Comedy Source: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Official Site: jointhewatch.com

    SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from an upcoming movie.

    Four everyday suburban guys come together as an excuse to escape their humdrum lives one night a week. But when they accidentally discover that their town has become overrun with aliens posing as ordinary suburbanites, they have no choice but to save their neighborhood -- and the world -- from total extermination.

    THE WATCH trailer, courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. © 2012 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

    ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

    The only things more dangerous than the threat facing the good citizens of suburban Glenview, are the four guys who’ve come together to save them. 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). Glenview, Ohio – United States – Planet Earth. In this seemingly serene 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, shooting the shit, and just being guys. Even with – or maybe because of – their spiffy new “Watch” jackets, which are emblazoned with fiery wings and a tiger head (don’t ask), the not-so-fearsome foursome initially gets no respect from the residents they’re supposedly looking out for. A group of kids plaster them with eggs, and the local cops think they’re a joke: the Hardy Boys... only far less savvy. 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?’” 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’s latest endeavor fits nicely within his wheelhouse of facilitating civic-minded endeavors; he’s also organized the Glenview Running Club, Recycling Team, and even a Spanish table at the community center. “Evan is very community-oriented,” says Stiller, “because he has so few friends, and these clubs give him the opportunity to meet new people.” Adds Akiva Schaffer: “Evan is a Good Samaritan, a perfectionist, and a control freak – but in a good way.” 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.” Still, the responsibilities of family do weigh heavily on Bob, who loves his wife and teenage daughter; the latter’s blossoming attributes are capturing the attentions of the opposite sex, and dad is not happy about it. “She’s growing up faster than Bob would like, so he’s trying to keep her under lockdown,” says Vaughn.

    The youngest member of the team is Franklin (Jonah Hill), a twentysomething, militant looking tough guy with, notes Schaffer “a sweetness just underneath.” (He still lives at home with his mom.) Franklin has a planet-size chip on his shoulder because he’s been rejected as a candidate for the police force and all other law enforcement organizations. (Failing every entrance exam didn’t help.) So for Franklin, The Watch is the only way he can legally kick ass and take names. “Franklin is alienated from, well everything,” says Hill. “He’s very strange and very funny.” Coming off his Oscar®-nominated performance in the drama “Moneyball,” and executive producing and starring in the critically-hailed hit “21 Jump Street,” Hill was not looking to return to the kind of raucous comedy that had propelled him to superstardom (like “Superbad” and “Pineapple Express”), but he “couldn’t resist the chance to perform opposite alongside Ben, Vince and Richard,” notes the actor. “It was something I had to do.” Moreover, “if I was going to do another broad comedy, I wanted it to have no basis in reality, and portray a character that could say or do anything. Plus, anytime you put an extreme amount of danger in the hands of irresponsible people, you know the results are going to be really wild.” Rounding out the quartet is Jamarcus, newly divorced and perpetually hungry for love, and who eagerly embraces The Watch’s off-kilter camaraderie. “Jamarcus feels that The Watch is an opportunity to burst out of his shell,” says Ayoade, who is also a noted filmmaker, having written and directed the acclaimed British film “Submarine.” Adds Schaffer: “He’s just looking to get out of the house and meet some ladies – and have sex with them.” On the surface, Jamarcus is kind of an odd duck (and that’s saying a lot in this group), but he may prove to be a secret weapon in the looming battle against the forces threatening the neighborhood. Levy says it was Ayoade’s “idiosyncratic energy” that made him perfect for the role. “He’s wildly inventive and completely strange in the best possible way. You never know what you’re going to get next with Richard.” “Richard is the one the audience isn’t expecting, so he can sucker-punch them…with lovable jokes,” Schaffer concurs. Given its members’ volatilities, it’s not surprising that The Watch’s burgeoning solidarity has aftershocks, many of which are experienced by Evan’s wife, Abby, portrayed by Rosemarie DeWitt. “Evan and Abby have a pretty good marriage,” notes Stiller, “but there’s this one issue dogging them: they’re trying to have kids,” and Evan is shooting blanks. While Evan loves his life in suburbia, Abby, says DeWitt, “wants to experience the world and make her life bigger and take the leap [having children].”

    Of her experience working with the four comedy pros, DeWitt, who has appeared in several dramatic roles, notes that “it was a little bit like you’re training for your whole life to be a long-distance runner, and they put you on the Olympic swim team!” The actors and filmmakers were determined to bring an audacity and boldness to THE WATCH. “The film’s DNA doesn’t feel familiar,” notes Levy, “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 “SNL” Digital Shorts, including “Dick in a Box,” “Lazy Sunday,” and “Natalie Portman Rap.” Says Ben Stiller: “Akiva has a comedy chip in his brain. He’s a genius editor and a true child of the digital age.” Adds Levy: “Akiva has helped create landmarks of our digital comedy culture, and he’s all about pushing boundaries.” The script required that same 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, as much as it did the characters’ showdown with the unwanted guests. “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.” Beyond the R-rated 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 (as long as the universe encompasses those age 17 or older, unless accompanied by parent or adult guardian). “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.

    ABOUT THE CAST

    BEN STILLER (Evan Troutwig) is an actor, director, writer and producer. He is currently in production on “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” which Stiller directs, produces and stars in opposite Kristen Wiig and Shirley MacLaine. Stiller plays a timid magazine photo manager who lives life vicariously through daydreams and then embarks on a true-life adventure when a film negative goes missing. Stiller received rave reviews for his performance in Noah Baumbach`s “Greenberg,” which earned him a 2011 Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Lead Actor. He recently starred in the Broadway revival of John Guare`s award-winning play “The House of Blue Leaves” alongside Edie Falco and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Stiller made his Broadway debut in the 1986 production of the same name. On the big screen, Stiller was last seen starring opposite Eddie Murphy in Universal`s action-comedy “Tower Heist” directed by Brett Ratner. In 2008, Stiller starred in, co-wrote and directed “Tropic Thunder” under his Red Hour Films production banner. Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Jack Black and Tom Cruise, the film garnered several award nominations including an Academy Award®, BAFTA, SAG and Golden Globe® for Robert Downey Jr. as well as a Golden Globe nomination for Tom Cruise. “Tropic Thunder” also won the Broadcast Film Critics Award and Hollywood Film Festival Award for Comedy of the Year. Stiller`s acting credits include: “Permanent Midnight,” “Your Friends & Neighbors,” “Flirting with Disaster,” “Empire of the Sun,” “There`s Something About Mary,” “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Reality Bites,” “Night at the Museum” and “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” the “Meet the Parents” franchise, and “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.” His other directing credits include “Reality Bites,” “The Cable Guy,” and “Zoolander,” which he co-wrote and starred in. As a writer, Stiller won an Emmy® Award for the sketch comedy series “The Ben Stiller Show,” which he also directed and produced. For many years, Stiller has been involved with and supported numerous charities and foundations, including Project ALS, Artists for Peace and Justice, Centre for Environmental Education, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Michael J. Fox Foundation, Oxfam, Red Cross, and Starlight Children`s Foundation. Following his first visit to Haiti with Save the Children in 2009, Stiller has been committed to raising money for schools in the country through his StillerStrong campaign, and more recently with The Stiller Foundation. In 2010, Stiller was recognized by Time magazine for his philanthropic work as one of the TIME 100, a list of the most influential people in the world. VINCE VAUGHN (Bob) has, in the last decade, established himself as one of Hollywood’s most versatile comedic performers, showcasing his unique blend of quick wit and personable charm in a diverse array of projects -- from big-budget blockbusters to offbeat independent fare. Vaughn made his cinematic debut in the 1993 underdog film “Rudy,” where he became friends with fellow actor Jon Favreau and forged a symbiotic creative partnership. This led to Vaughn’s breakout role in Favreau’s 1996 film-turned-cult classic “Swingers.” Over the next sixteen years, a dynamic collaboration ensued between these two comical virtuosos that would have them reunite for several projects, beginning with the mob farce “Made,” followed by “The Break-up” with Jennifer Aniston playing opposite Vaughn, “Four Christmases” also starring Reese Witherspoon, and most recently “Couples Retreat.” Vaughn landed prominent roles in high-profile megahits that began with Steven Spielberg’s “The Lost World: Jurassic Park.” In 2003, Vaughn’s popularity skyrocketed with the release of “Old School,” also starring Will Ferrell and Luke Wilson. Following this pivotal performance, Vaughn proved to be a comedic tour de force with a succession of hit comedies including the seventies television show remake, “Starsky & Hutch,” “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,” both with Ben Stiller; reuniting with Will Ferrell in “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”; “Be Cool,” opposite John Travolta and Uma Thurman; “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie; and “Fred Claus,” alongside Paul Giamatti, Kathy Bates and Rachel Weisz. In 2005, Vaughn’s soaring comic trajectory culminated with the highest-grossing comedy of the year, “Wedding Crashers.” Again, Vaughn teamed with Owen Wilson, this time to form a womanizing duo deceptively enchanting the lovelorn with their hedonistic debauchery. The film also starred Rachel McAdams, Christopher Walken and Isla Fisher. Vaughn continued to impress with his versatility as a gifted performer equally adept at comedy and drama, as well as other genres, appearing in “A Cool, Dry Place,” “Return to Paradise,” “Thumbsucker,” Dwight Yoakam’s directorial debut “South of Heaven, West of Hell,” Sean Penn’s critically acclaimed film adaptation of “Into the Wild,” “Psycho” directed by Gus Van Sant also starring Julianne Moore, Viggo Mortensen and William H. Macy, “The Cell” opposite Jennifer Lopez, and “Domestic Disturbance” with John Travolta. Vaughn’s most recent projects include “The Dilemma” directed by Ron Howard, also starring Kevin James, Channing Tatum and Queen Latifah; the soon to be released, Stephen Frears dramedy, “Lay the Favorite,” with Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Rebecca Hall; and the romantic comedy, “A Case of You,” starring Peter Dinklage, Evan Rachel Wood and Sam Rockwell. Vaughn will reunite with his “Wedding Crashers” co-star, Owen Wilson, in the Twentieth Century Fox comedy, “The Internship,” with Shawn Levy at the helm. Not one to rest on his laurels, Vaughn formed Wild West Picture Show Productions, producing the films “The Break-up,” “Four Christmases,” “Couples Retreat,” “The Dilemma,” and the documentary “Wild West Comedy Show.” This summer, TBS premiered the Wild West Picture Show-produced half-hour comedy, “Sullivan & Son,” executive produced by Vaughn and starring Steve Byrne. JONAH HILL (Franklin) made his theatrical debut alongside Jason Schwartzman and Dustin Hoffman in “I Heart Huckabees,” setting into motion the inevitable life-changing encounter with wunderkind, Judd Apatow and his band of comical raconteurs. Apatow unleashed Hill’s comedic prowess, casting him, in a small role in Steve Carell’s critically acclaimed megahit, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” followed by another raucously funny performance in Apatow’s, “Knocked Up,” starring Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen. Hill reteamed with Apatow for his first lead role in the critically lauded blockbuster “Superbad,” opposite Michael Cera; the film became the highest grossing high school-themed movie of all time. The magical combination of Apatow and Hill would reappear in several outrageously jaw-dropping forms including “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” with John C. Reilly; “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” starring Jason Segel, Russell Brand and Mila Kunis; “Funny People” starring Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen; and Russell Brand’s satirical rock and roll adventure, “Get Him to the Greek.” Segueing into drama, Hill proved a versatile actor, presenting a compelling portrayal as Peter Brand, in the Oscar-nominated biographical baseball adaptation, “Moneyball,” directed by Bennett Miller. Hill delivered a nuanced dramatic turn opposite Brad Pitt that not only garnered critical recognition, but also earned him Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe, BAFTA and Academy Award® nominations. Hill gave voice to numerous animated characters, including Tommy in “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who!” alongside Jim Carrey and Steve Carell, followed by Snotlout in the Academy Award nominated “How to Train Your Dragon” with Gerard Butler and Kristin Wiig, and most recently, as Hal Stewart/Titan in “Megamind,” also starring Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt and Tina Fey. Hill reprises his turn as Snotlout in “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” Hill co-created and starred in the animated television comedy “Allen Gregory” for FOX. He appeared in episodes of “NYPD Blue,” “Reno: 911!” and “The Simpsons,” among other shows. Recently, Hill again, flexed his other creative muscles as executive producer and writer of the “21 Jump Street,” based on the eighties television series; the film also starred Channing Tatum and Ice Cube. “21 Jump Street” is Hill’s highest grossing film since “Superbad.” Hills upcoming projects include “Good Time Gang,” opposite Mark Wahlberg, “The Apocalypse,” with Seth Rogen and James Franco, “True Story,” reteaming with James Franco, and “Zoolander 2” alongside Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. RICHARD AYOADE (Jamarcus) is a multi-talented British comedian, actor, writer and director best known for his iconic portrayal of Maurice Moss, the beloved über-geek in the award-winning British sitcom, “The IT Crowd.” Ayoade’s innovative twist on the high-tech misfit has garnered him nationwide acclaim and honors including the Monte-Carlo Television Festival’s award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Comedy Series. While attending Cambridge University, Ayoade served as president of the distinguished Footlights Dramatic Club, solidifying his reputation as a unique and gifted entertainer. Ayoade showcased his versatile talent co-writing and appearing on “Garth Marenghi`s Fright Knight.” The show received a Perrier Award nomination, and a year later its sequel, which he also co-wrote, won the Perrier Comedy Award. The Marenghi character became Ayoade’s breakthrough moment, with British Channel 4 contracting to televise the horror comedy series “Garth Marenghi`s Darkplace.” Ayoade capitalized on his debut by appearing in several critically lauded television comedies, including “Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy,” “The Mighty Boosh,” “Man to Man with Dean Learner” and “Nathan Barkely.” Ayoade is equally masterful behind the camera. His foray into directing began with helming music videos for English indie rock bands such as the Arctic Monkeys and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. In 2010, Ayoade made his directorial feature debut with the coming-of-age adaptation, “Submarine,” which he also wrote, starring Sally Hawkins and Paddy Considine. “Submarine” received rave reviews and garnered Ayoade a BAFTA nomination for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer. Ayoade’s other writing and directing credits include “AD/BC: A Rock Opera,” “Man to Man with Dean Learner” and “Crooked Man.” For his next project, Ayoade will write and direct a comedic adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “The Double,” starring Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska. ROSEMARIE DEWITT (Abby Troutwig) is an accomplished actress, receiving critical praise for her arresting performances on film, stage and television. She rose to prominence with her portrayal of the beleaguered title character, opposite Anne Hathaway, in the acclaimed indie film “Rachel Getting Married,” directed by Jonathan Demme. DeWitt’s turn as Rachel amassed accolades and numerous awards nominations for best supporting actress. DeWitt’s breakthrough film role came as a result of her genealogical heritage as the great granddaughter of boxer James. J. Braddock, the protagonist of Ron Howard’s biopic “Cinderella Man” starring Russell Crowe and Renée Zellweger. DeWitt would follow this serendipitous success with solid performances in a succession of films, including “Shut up and Sing,” “Off the Black,” “Afterschool,” “Tenure,” “How I Got Lost,” “A Little Bit of Heaven,” “Your Sister’s Sister,” opposite Emily Blunt, and the Kenneth Lonergan directed, “Margaret,” with Anna Paquin, Matt Damon and Mark Ruffalo. In 2010, DeWitt appeared in the John Wells helmed “The Company Men” as part of a stellar ensemble cast including Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones. The film presents an inside view of the staggering aftermath of corporate downsizing as an American family struggles to rise from the debilitating and dehumanizing ashes. DeWitt’s most recent film endeavors include “Nobody Walks,” winner of the Sundance Special Jury Prize for Excellence in Independent Film Producing, starring Olivia Thirlby and John Krasinski; “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” alongside Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton and Dianne Wiest; and the Gus Van Sant directed “Promised Land,” written by and featuring Matt Damon and John Krasinski, also starring Francis McDormand. In addition to DeWitt’s impressive cinematic achievements, she has been a phenomenon on the small screen, creating indelible characters in two of television’s most critically acclaimed and groundbreaking original series – “Mad Men” and “The United States of Tara.” In the former, DeWitt mesmerized in a seven episode arc as Don Draper’s free-spirited mistress, Midge Daniels; in the latter, DeWitt gives an incisively exquisite performance as Tara’s sister, the marginalized and misunderstood Charmaine Craine. DeWitt’s other television credits include the FOX series “Standoff,” as well as guest appearances in “Rescue Me,” “Sex and the City” and “Law and Order: SVU.” On the theatrical stage, DeWitt’s versatile talent continues to shine delivering one exquisitely rendered performance after another in numerous Off Broadway plays including John Patrick Shanley`s “Danny and the Deep Blue Sea,” George S. Kaufman`s “The Butter and Egg Man,” Craig Lucas` Obie® Award-winning “Small Tragedy” and recently, Jonathan Demme’s “Family Week.”

    ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS

    AKIVA SCHAFFER (Director) is an award winning writer, director and musician prominently known as a member of The Lonely Island sketch-comedy troupe with fellow “Saturday Night Live” members, Andy Samberg and Jorma Taccone. As part of “Saturday Night Live’s” writing team, Schaffer collaborates on the creation and completion of the show’s digital shorts, including the Grammy® nominated “I’m on a Boat” featuring rapper T-Pain, as well as the Emmy nominated “Motherlover” and the Emmy winning “Dick in a Box.” Schaffer made his feature film directorial debut with the Lorne Michaels produced comedy “Hot Rod,” in which he also starred with Andy Samberg, Isla Fisher and Ian McShane. For his writing contribution on “Saturday Night Live,” Schaffer received two Writers’ Guild of America Awards, and a Peabody Award. Released in 2009, The Lonely Island’s “Incredibad” became the eighth highest selling Hip Hop album of the year. JARED STERN (Screenwriter) has spent the past decade writing for film and television. He began his career at Walt Disney Animation Studios, where he contributed to “The Princess and the Frog,” “Bolt” and the upcoming “Wreck-It Ralph.” He was a writer on “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” starring Jim Carrey, and most recently worked on “The Internship,” set to begin production this summer, starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, directed by Shawn Levy. A graduate of Brown University, Stern lives in Los Angeles with his Boston Terrier, Sir Roger. SETH ROGEN (Screenwriter) has emerged as a prominent figure in a new generation of comedic actors, writers and producers. Rogen most recently starred in and executive produced the dramatic comedy “50/50,” inspired by the real life experiences of his best friend, Will Reiser, who also wrote the screenplay. With an all-star cast including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Anjelica Huston, this heart-warming film won the hearts of audiences and critics alike, and was nominated for several Indie Spirit Awards. The film’s screenplay earned a National Board of Review award for Best Original Screenplay. Nominated for an Emmy Award in 2005 for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy for “Da Ali G Show,” Rogen began his career doing standup comedy in Vancouver, Canada at the age of 13. After moving to Los Angeles, Rogen landed supporting roles in Judd Apatow’s two critically acclaimed network television comedies, “Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared”; for the latter, Rogen was also hired, at age 18, as a staff writer. Rogen was guided by Apatow toward a film career, first with the box office smash hit “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” which opened No. 1 at the box office and remained at the top perch for two weekends in a row. The film went on to gross more than $175 million worldwide and helped put Rogen on the map as a future film star. The film was named one of the 10 Most Outstanding Motion Pictures of the Year by AFI and took home Best Comedy Movie at the 11th annual Critics’ Choice Awards. Rogen was a co-producer on the film as well. Rogen headlined two summer blockbusters in 2007. “Knocked Up,” also starring Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, directed by Judd Apatow, grossed more than $140 million domestically. Rogen was also an executive producer. Shortly thereafter, Rogen starred in “Superbad,” a semi-autobiographical comedy that he co-wrote and executive produced with writing partner Evan Goldberg. The film grossed more than $120 million domestically for Sony Pictures. The duo also found success the following summer with the action-comedy “Pineapple Express.” Starring opposite James Franco and Danny McBride, the No. 1 box-office hit went on to make more than $100 million worldwide for Sony Pictures. Rogen continued to demonstrate his wide-ranging ability as he co-wrote, executive produced and starred as the main character, Britt Reid, in the action film “The Green Hornet.” Rogen starred opposite the Academy Award-winning actor Christoph Waltz, for director Michael Gondry. In addition to his on-screen roles, Rogen has found great success lending his voice for animated films. In 2011, he starred as the voice of the title character in the comedy, “Paul,” teaming once again with “Superbad” director Greg Mottola. Written by Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, also starring Jane Lynch, Kristen Wiig and Jason Bateman, Rogen voiced an alien who has escaped outside of Area 51 and encounters two geeks on their way to Comic-Con. Rogen was also heard in “Kung Fu Panda,” as Mantis, alongside Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman and Angelina Jolie. The Academy Award-nominated film earned more than $626 million worldwide. He reprised his role as the sarcastic insect in the film’s sequel, “Kung Fu Panda 2.” Rogen also participated in the 3D animation phenomenon “Monsters vs. Aliens,” as the voice of B.O.B., where he was joined by Paul Rudd, Rainn Wilson and the Academy Award-winning actress, Reese Witherspoon. The film was released by DreamWorks Animation and grossed almost $370 million at the worldwide box office. Other film credits include “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!” ”Zack and Miri Make a Porno,” “Observe and Report” and “Funny People.” Rogen will next be seen in the comedy “My Mother’s Curse,” starring opposite Academy Award winner Barbra Streisand. He’s currently on screen in the drama “Take This Waltz,” with Sarah Silverman and Michelle Williams, directed by Sarah Polley. EVAN GOLDBERG (Screenwriter) is an award-winning writer and lauded producer, who, alongside longtime friend and collaborator Seth Rogen, has been responsible for creating several critically acclaimed, top grossing films, including the megahit, “Superbad.” With his creative partner, Rogen, Goldberg’s other feature work is “Pineapple Express” with James Franco, “The Green Hornet,” starring Rogen, Jay Chou and Christoph Waltz, “50/50” featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Judd Apatow’s “Funny People” and “Knocked-up.” His big break came as part of the writing ensemble for HBO’s Sacha Baron Cohen starrer, “Da Ali G Show,” for which Goldberg received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program. An ardent fans of “The Simpsons,” Goldberg and Rogen wrote the season 21 opener, “Homer the Whopper.” Goldberg’s next big screen fare includes his directorial debut of “The Apocalypse,” co-written with Rogen, starring Jonah Hill and James Franco, as well as serving as a producer on “The Guilt Trip,” featuring Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand. Goldberg and Rogen received the Canadian Comedy Award for Best Writing in Film for “Superbad,” as well as Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Awards nominations for “50/50.” SHAWN LEVY (Producer) is one of the most commercially successful film directors of the past decade. To date, his films have grossed over $1.6 billion worldwide. His youthfully enthusiastic approach to filmmaking is evident in the storylines and characters he creates, reflecting his joyful intensity for each project at hand. In addition to his directing slate, Levy is developing several films to produce through his production company, 21 Laps Entertainment, which is housed at 20th Century Fox. This summer, Levy helms the comedy “The Internship,” starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as two old school salesmen who, finding themselves suddenly unemployed and passed-by in the digital world, try to reinvent themselves by becoming interns at a major tech company. Last year, Levy helmed, for DreamWorks, “Real Steel,” starring Hugh Jackman. In 2010, Levy released “Date Night,” which he directed and produced. The film boasted a stellar cast that included Steve Carell, Tina Fey, James Franco, Mark Wahlberg, Kristin Wiig, Mark Ruffalo and Leighton Meester. “Date Night” resonated soundly with audiences, grossing over $150 million worldwide. Levy’s 21 Laps also produced the hit comedy “What Happens in Vegas,” starring Cameron Diaz and Aston Kutcher, which went on to earn over $200 million worldwide. Levy both produced and directed the blockbuster “Night at the Museum” franchise (“Night at the Museum,” “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian”), starring Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Ricky Gervais, Hank Azaria, Amy Adams, Christopher Guest, Jonah Hill, Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney. To date, the global success of this franchise has netted more than a billion dollars in worldwide box office. Previously, Levy directed the hit 2006 comedy “The Pink Panther,” starring Steve Martin, Kevin Kline, Beyoncé Knowles, and Jean Reno. Levy also directed the smash hit “Cheaper By The Dozen,” starring Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Ashton Kutcher and Hilary Duff which went on to gross more than $200 million worldwide. Levy graduated at the age of 20 from the drama department of Yale University. He later studied film in the Masters Film Production Program at USC where he produced and directed the short film “Broken Record.” This film won the Gold Plaque at the Chicago Film Festival, in addition to being selected to screen at the Director’s Guild of America. DAN LEVINE (Executive Producer) is the President of 21 Laps Entertainment, Shawn Levy’s production company based at 20th Century Fox Prior to joining 21 Laps, Levine was the Executive VP of Production at Paramount Pictures and oversaw such productions as “Cloverfield,” “G.I. Joe,” “Friday the 13th,” “Shooter” and “Stardust.” Before Paramount, Levine was a Senior VP of Production at Dimension Films, where he was the executive on “The Amityville Horror.” Prior to that, Levine was based at Jersey Films, where he was an executive producer on “Along Came Polly” at Universal and “Freedom Writers” at Paramount. While at Jersey Films, Levine was the production executive on Broken Lizard’s “Super Troopers” and was co-producer on “Camp.” Before Jersey Films, Levine was a VP of development at New Regency, where he was the executive on such films as “L.A. Confidential,” “Fight Club,” “A Time To Kill” and “City of Angels.” MONICA LEVINSON (Executive Producer) previously served as executive producer on “30: Minutes or Less” and “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.” She produced “Bruno” and the made-for-television movie “The Gin Game.” Levinson was the co-producer of “We Married Margo” and associate producer for “Zoolander.” BARRY PETERSON (Director of Photography) is an accomplished cinematographer known for his creative and technical mastery across multiple media. Peterson’s interest in cinematography began as a childhood hobby evolving into what he always knew would be his vocation in life. Upon graduation from high school, Peterson’s maiden voyage behind the lens began as an FX cameraman. This stint served as a catalyst for Peterson to work on numerous commercials on which he honed his cinematic craft, allowing him to leap into the long-form productions. Most recently, Peterson’s cinematography wizardry appeared in the summer blockbuster “21 Jump Street,” written and executive produced by Jonah Hill, who starred with Channing Tatum. His previous film credits include “Zoolander” with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson; “Dark Blue” directed by Ron Shelton, starring Kurt Russell; “Hollywood Homicide” featuring Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett; “Starsky & Hutch,” again with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson; “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story” starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn; and “Jumper” starring Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson and Jamie Bell. On the small screen, Peterson’s artful talent created the look and feel of NBC’s superhero drama series “The Cape” starring David Lyons. DOUG MEERDINK (Production Designer) began his career as an art director in film and television and has since successfully segued into both media as a production designer. He designed the acclaimed “The Informant!” directed by Steven Soderbergh starring Matt Damon, as well as Showtime’s critically praised series “House of Lies” with Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell. Meerdink’s other credits include the Sundance Film Festival Official Selection “Cedar Rapids” starring Ed Helms and John C. Reilly, and the J. J. Abrams drama series “Undercovers.” DEAN ZIMMERMAN (Editor) is part of an editing dynasty. His father is Academy Award nominated editor, Don Zimmerman, A.C.E. Under the tutelage of the “Big D” (the moniker for the paterfamilias), Zimmerman, along with his two brothers, one being an identical twin, learned the mastery of film editing. After fifteen years working at his father’s side, Zimmerman made his solo editing debut with the Shawn Levy helmed “Date Night” starring Steve Carell and Tina Fey. His other editing credits include “Gulliver’s Travels” with Jack Black, Emily Blunt and Jason Segel, “Real Steel” starring Hugh Jackman, and “Mirror Mirror” starring Julia Roberts, Lily Collins and Armie Hammer. A recent project is the television comedy “Family Album,” directed by Shawn Levy. CHRISTOPHE BECK (Music) most recently composed the scores for “This Means War,” “Tower Heist,” and the audience and critical hit “The Muppets.” His other recent credits include “Crazy, Stupid Love” and “The Hangover Part II” (his fourth collaboration with director Todd Phillips; the others were “The Hangover,” “Due Date” and “School for Scoundrels”). Beck composed scores for the critically acclaimed comedy “Cedar Rapids,” the musical feature “Burlesque,” the actioner “Red,” Neil LaBute’s “Death at a Funeral,” the sleeper comedy hit “Hot Tub Time Machine,” Chris Columbus’ fantasy adventure “Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief,” and the award-winning documentary “Waiting for Superman.” In addition, Beck has teamed with filmmaker Shawn Levy on a number of films, including “Date Night,” the remakes of “The Pink Panther” and “Cheaper by the Dozen,” “Just Married,” “Big Fat Liar,” and “What Happens in Vegas,” which Levy produced. Beck’s wide range of film credits also includes “All About Steve,” “Fred Claus,” “Year of the Dog,” “We Are Marshall,” “The Sentinel,” “Phoebe in Wonderland,” “Under the Tuscan Sun, Saved!” and “Bring It On.” Beck won an Emmy for Outstanding Music Composition for his work on the hit series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” He began his scoring career on the Canadian television series “White Fang.” WENDY CHUCK (Costume Designer) is a preeminent costume designer of film, theatre and ballet in the United States as well as her native Australia. A versatile costumer, she has created wardrobes for several Academy Award-winning films including “Sideways,” with Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church and Virginia Madsen; “The Piano,” directed by Jane Campion starring Holly Hunter and Harvey Keitel, and most recently, “The Descendants” starring George Clooney. Her previous list of film credits including the franchise juggernaut “Twilight,” “About Schmidt” starring Jack Nicholson, Kathy Bates and Hope Davis, Jane Campion’s “Portrait of A Lady” and “Two Friends,” “Election” starring Reese Witherspoon, “Conviction” with Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell and “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” starring Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes. Chuck’s costume creations have appeared on the HBO series “Hung” starring Thomas Jane, as well as the critically acclaimed drama series “The Riches” with Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver and the Barry Sonnenfel made-for-television movie, “Hacket.” Her upcoming projects include “Struck by Lightning” written by Chris Colfer starring Dermot Mulroney” and “So Undercover” with Miley Cyrus and Jeremy Piven. Chuck’s costume workmanship has been honored with nominations from the Australian Film Institute`s Best Achievement in Costume Design for “Country Life” and winning the Costume Designers Award for Excellence in Costume Design-Contemporary for “About Schmidt.” Before working in film, Wendy was a costume cutter/fitter/tailor for ABC TV. She later worked in London for seven years for the Museum of the Moving Image, as well as for private and corporate clients and music videos.

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    Welcome to SciFi Japan, your source for news and information on science fiction, horror, fantasy and action movies, TV shows and videos.. from classics and old favorites, to upcoming productions and home video releases, to the odd and obscure titles you may never have heard of!

    The mainstream press has largely ignored Japanese tokusatsu (special effects) films, and when the genre has been covered by American news outlets and television the results were often inaccurate and condescending. On the other hand, there have been some excellent fan publications and websites devoted to these films, but Japanese studios have been extremely reluctant to deal with fan groups due to concerns over copyright infringement issues (some fans advocate and promote activities such as video bootlegging and unlicensed downloading). With no direct access to studio news and photos, fan reporting has often been forced to rely on secondhand info and rumors.

    What was missing was a professionally run English news outlet working directly with Japanese studios and filmmakers. So, in 2006, we brought together a talented group of published authors and reporters, film historians, reviewers, festival organizers, and movie makers with ties to the Japanese film industry to launch SciFi Japan (More information on our key contributors can be found here). The only English language news site press registered with all of the major Japanese studios and production companies, SciFi Japan is able to consistently bring accurate and exclusive information on Japanese films and shows to English speaking/reading fans worldwide.

    This site also receives updates from licensees and distributors of Japanese movies in North America, the UK and Australia, and we’re press registered with the major American studios as well. So, while our primary focus remains Japanese llive action and anime news we will rinclude international productions in our "International SciFii" and. "Asian Cinema" sections.

    And in 2012, we launched SciFi JAPAN TV, a web series featuring coverage of tokusatsu events and interviews with Japanese filmmakers. Each episode was shot on location in Japan exclusively for SciFi Japan by the Gaijin Channel production team. 

    SciFi Japan has grown by leaps and bounds over these past few years, and the site will continue to improve. So please bookmark SFJ and check back with us frequently… we’ll do our best to make it worth the effort!

     

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