The reason for the delay, according to Sony, was that the visual effects on the film could not be completed in time for its originally intended release. No new date has been given, but it will now hit theaters sometime in the early part of 2014.
“The Monuments Men” was a much-anticipated part of the fall schedule and a presumed Oscar contender. There had been mixed reports on whether or not the film was more of a straight-forward popcorn flick than a prestige film, but when George Clooney is directing a WWII story with a cast that includes Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman and Jean Dujardin, this was a film that was always going to be in the discussion until people laid eyes on it.
Now, likely falling sometime in the first quarter of 2014, any chances it had of Oscar glory are all but dashed. This has nothing to do with the quality of the film, though it’d be safe to assume some will attribute this move with that, but it is always an uphill battle for a film in the first part of the year to remain relevant up until nominations.
This is just one of the odd stories surrounding “The Monuments Men.” The first was the aforementioned debate about what kind of movie it was. The trailer suggested a balance between comedy and drama, never clear on which way it would lean more. Second, Goldderby initially reported that Sony was not planning an Oscar campaign for the film; it was quickly denied, but in the long run I guess you can say they were right.
“The Monuments Men” join “Grace of Monaco” and “Foxcatcher” as films that moved out of 2013 and into next year. Reports on Harvey Weinstein handling some last minute edits of “Grace” show why that film was held. As for “Foxcatcher,” it was picked up by Sony Picture Classics, had a trailer briefly leaked online, and was originally slated to premiere at the AFI Film Fest, but it wasn’t nearly as a big a surprise when it was yanked at the last minute since all of that happened right on top of each other.
“Monuments Men” wasn’t the film many expected to get bumped out of this year. Most thought Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” wouldn’t be able to make either its original Nov. 15 release or a last minute slot on Christmas Day considering Scorsese is still in the process of editing. Now Scorsese seems confident that he’ll have it done for that Christmas release. “Monuments Men” seemed full steam ahead prior to Tuesday’s announcement, but that’s just how the cookie crumbles.