It'll be Mr. Dobkin's 'Neighborhood' now


There goes the neighborhood. "Neighborhood Watch," the 21 Laps project set up at Fox, is getting a makeover and some new momentum.

Shawn Levy, who was attached to direct and produce, will now only produce, with "Wedding Crashers" helmer David Dobkin in negotiations to direct.

"Neighborhood" centers on an urbanite who gets more than he bargains for when he moves to the suburbs and joins the neighborhood watch, with a sci-fi element included via an aliens plot line.

Producers are out to cast, with conversations under way with Will Ferrell to play the lead, though insiders said those conversations are in the early stages. The studio declined to confirm any Ferrell discussions.

Jared Stern wrote the script, and 21 Laps' Tom McNulty will produce with Levy.

The CAA-repped Dobkin has a deal at Warner Bros., where he's attached to direct a diverse range of projects, including an update of superhero tale "The Flash," the whimsical romantic comedy "Helium" and an untitled holiday comedy in which a Southern father meets his three daughters' "ethnically diverse" boyfriends on Thanksgiving.

Ferrell, also repped by CAA, appears in two comedies this summer: the family adventure reboot "Land of the Lost" and the used-car salesman comedy "The Goods." He's also set to play Dr. Watson in Columbia's retelling of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

Fox has been developing a specialty in comedies with fantasy and sci-fi elements. It recently restarted development on the futuristic comedy "Used Guys" and this month will release "Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian," a fantasy-oriented comedy also produced by 21 Laps and directed by Levy. (partialdiff)