With such a packed fall awards season, the -directed World War II comedy-drama The Monuments Men is gonna sit it out and wait: faced with a crushing pressure to wrap the film up in time for the previously-scheduled December 18th debut, Clooney has decided to shift the release of the star-studded film to the first quarter of 2014 instead.
The reason for this sudden calendar-tinkering? Let's allow Gorgeous George to explain for himself:
We just didn't have enough time.
Succint, ain't it? It seems that he and his producing partner, , came to the epiphany that led to this change in schedule earlier this week. Both were in London working hard on supervising the movie's score, composed by Alexandre Desplat and performed by a 110-piece ensemble orchestra. Clooney immediately saw that there was little hope for finishing in time for the deadline:
I looked at Grant and said, 'We're dying.'
Monuments Men wrapped up principal photography in July, but that doesn't mean there aren't hundreds of special visual effects that need to be created and perfected in post-production:
If any of the effects looked cheesy, the whole movie would look cheesy. We simply don’t have enough people to work enough hours to finish it. It wasn't going to be finished, and I wouldn't want to have my name on it... you don't want it to look like a film that was all done on the computer.
This means that the historical war film won't make it into the 2014 Academy Awards contention. Clooney isn't too bugged about that, truth be told:
The good news for us is that we're really happy to buy ourselves a month. I can’t tell you how relieved we are.
Apart from his comments to the LA Times, Clooney took to providing an even more detailed explanation for the whole scheduling affair to Deadline:
The straight up facts are these. We had a really good test last week, scoring in the mid 80s, in Arizona. And when we were on the plane coming back with Jeff Blake, Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton, they said look, let’s be honest. There are lots better times to bring this movie out than December 18. How about November 22? Can you do it? Now, today is our first day at the scoring stages at Abbey Road. Then they call and ask, how about the 15th of November? We like to pull stuff off, and we said, let’s see what we can do. That was two days ago.
We had a meeting with all the effects guys for our CGI stuff, and, we’re just not going to get there in time. Then we looked at the date we had, December 18. I don’t know how many movies are opening, but it’s got to be the toughest December in recent memory for box office. We said, where's another good place to land? And we looked at February and the Shutter Island slot.
As hard as we're working, the truth of the matter is, we only started principal photography on this in March. So the idea we’d have all the effects ready was a stretch anyway. And we didn't make it. It’s that simple. It's certainly not about tone of the film, because it’s testing through the roof. We said, let's just find a spot where the movie can find an actual audience instead of fighting with 22 other films in December.
The Monuments Men tells the based-on-a-true-story version of the WWII events in which a special platoon, tasked by FDR to retrieve stolen art from the Nazis ,finds itself embroiled in one of the most famous (and extremely filmable) treasure hunts in History. The task force is composed by art historians, museum directors and curators, who boldly risk their lives to rescue as many millennial masterpieces as possible before the Germans feed them to the flames.
The film stars George Clooney, , , , , and .
The new official release date is (for now) February 7th.