'You know what, Academy Awards and film industry? Shut up.' That’s what George Clooney says. He doesn’t say that. But he won’t be forced into releasing The Monuments Men until it’s really, really ready. Clooney ready, and that means making it perfect, even it takes more time.

John Goodman George ClooneyJohn Goodman and George Clooney in The Monuments Men

The quirky World War II movie sees Clooney assemble a motley crew of conscientious art, culture, architecture and history experts with a view to entering a Nazi-infested Western Europe to preserve said facets of society. But it won’t see any of that happen until the first quarter of 2014.

“We just didn’t have enough time,” Clooney told The Los Angeles Times.

“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.” He added: ”All we’ve ever said, from the very beginning, is that we wanted to make a commercial, non-cynical piece of entertainment.”

Prior to this announcement, Monuments was generating venerable Oscars buzz. It’s fair to say – had Clooney both stuck to his initial deadline and pulled the film off – that a World War II comedy drama featuring Matt Damon, John Goodman, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin and Bob Balaban with Clooney writing/directing would be popular with the Academy.

Alas, the film is no longer eligible for consideration due to the delay.

This unwraps up the competition somewhat. 12 Years a Slave is still a popular favourite, but the door has been opened for films like The Counselor, which stars Michael Fassbender as a successful lawyer who delves into the criminal underworld of drug trafficking.

Clooney could still get some Oscars joy with Gravity - the Alfonso Cuaron space thriller that’s attracting all sorts of critical praise - but it’s unknown to what extent he stars in the film, as, judging by the press push and the trailers, it’s Sandra Bullock’s story.

The Monuments Men poster
The film is now scheduled for a February 2014 release