Mike Fleming

20th Century Fox might finally be getting going on Neighborhood Watch, a comedy that has long been a priority. The studio is negotiating with Akiva Schaffer, who is one-third of the “Lonely Island” team that created those digital shorts on Saturday Night Live, to direct. The studio likes Ben Stiller for the lead role in the comedy, which has a script by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg that has got Schaffer and Stiller interested. Shawn Levy is producing. The lead role is a newcomer to the neighborhood whose idea to join the neighborhood watch to get socially acclimated goes awry when aliens get involved. Unclear if Stiller will have the time. He’s coming off a Broadway turn in the revival of the John Guare play The House of Blue Leaves, and he’s got about five films percolating. They include the remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Zoolander 2 (Stiller wrote the script with Justin Theroux), the Noah Baumbach-directed While We’re Young, and the Africa-set comedy Help Me Spread Goodness. Stiller most recently wrapped Tower Heist for Universal.

Schaffer, who makes the SNL Digital Shorts with Andy Samberg and Jorma Taccone, previously directed Samberg in the comedy Hot Rod.

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