When George Clooney began production on his Ides of March follow-up, the WWII drama The Monuments Men, in March of this year, his end goal was to have it completed for Sony Pictures and 20th Century Fox (who are international distributing) by December. However, it looks like the war has been delayed. Easily his biggest film yet as a director, clocking in at $65 million a budget with a substantial amount of visual effects work, Clooney simply won’t have it ready in time.

According to The LA Times, who spoke with the director today, the film has been delayed to 2014. With an unspecified February release date in sight, this will now give the team more team to complete the aforementioned effects and finishing touches. “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,” Clooney said.

This means Sony will only have American Hustle to round out the year — the studio also handed off Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher to their indie outfit Sony Pictures Classics, who delayed it to 2014 — and that it has bowed out of this year’s Oscar race. Clooney said that route was never his intention, exclaiming, “All we’ve ever said, from the very beginning, is that we wanted to make a commercial, non-cynical piece of entertainment.”

It’s a relief that the studio is giving the filmmaker proper time to finish his project, as it could have easily been rushed. With a crowded December marketplace (which recently added Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street), it sounds like the smart route to go. Starring Clooney, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Bob BalabanBill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin and Hugh Bonneville, watch the most recent trailer as we await a new, concrete release date.

Are you disappointed in the delay?

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