George Clooney’s The Monuments Men has been pushed back to early 2014, as the writer-director told The L.A. Times that he simply “didn’t have enough time” to complete the assorted visual effects in the finished film.
"If any of the effects looked cheesy, the whole movie would look cheesy," Clooney told the paper. "We simply don't have enough people to work enough hours to finish it."
This took me by surprise. We were all so busy waiting for Paramount to possibly move Kenneth Branagh’s Jack Ryan reboot back to 2014 that I never once considered Clooney might not have his WWII caper thriller ready for release this year. In certain circles, Clooney’s movie was considered an awards contender. But the writer-director-star sort of hedged those bets by saying they weren’t trying to get into the Oscar race with Men.
"All we've ever said, from the very beginning, is that we wanted to make a commercial, noncynical piece of entertainment," Clooney said.
The A-lister appears alongside Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin, John Goodman and Cate Blanchett as soldiers tasked with going behind enemy lines in WWII Germany to retrieve priceless works of art from the Nazis.
Jeff Blake, vice chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, backed up that notion, saying of the delay, “We haven’t even had time to digest it yet. But the main thing is that it’s a big, commercial movie.”
February is being tossed around. The movie might explore March release dates, as well, but first quarter of 2014 is likely.
"This is a bigger film than we usually do," Clooney said. “It was a mad rush to do it from the very beginning. … You don't want it to look like a film that was all done in the computer.
"The good news for us is that we're really happy to buy ourselves a month," Clooney continued. "I can't tell you how relieved we are."
The Monuments Men follows Foxcatcher as a high-profile movie that pulls its plug before being able to reach an earlier announced release date. Are studios announcing these release dates too soon? Should executives wait until a director has actually finished a movie before figuring out when it should be released?