George Clooney led a star studded red carpet on Tuesday for the New York premiere of his new film ‘The Monuments Men’ The actor, who also co-wrote and directed the film, appeared alongside stars Hugh Bonnerville, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett and John Goodman last night, where he spoke about his excitement at the film’s release.

George Clooney arriving at the world premiere of 'The Monuments Men'George Clooney arriving at the world premiere of 'The Monuments Men

Clooney told The Hollywood Reporter that he was glad the film’s release date got pushed back, saying "I'm excited about the release date; we're in a really good slot.” The movie was initially meant to come out in December, but had its release pushed back to  March when it became clear the film wouldn't be finished on time. The actor added, "looking back it was a really tough December, so I'm really happy we have some breathing room, it’s nice.”

The film, based on a book by Robert Edsel, tells the story of an Allied group named the 'Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Program', who were tasked with saving pieces of art and other culturally important items before their destruction by Hitler during World War II. Clooney admitted that adapting Edsel’s 700 page book was challenging saying, "The biggest challenge was making it not a civics lesson because there's a lot of detail that if you just do that, then it's a really boring civics lesson, and we set up at the beginning to make it an entertaining film.” The author himself commented, "They're telling a dramatic story. My book is telling the historical story, they had to make adjustments to be able fit it into two hours because it goes by with the snap of a finger. The overarching principles of my book are intact.”

The real Monuments Men comprised of about 350 men and women, but the character list was whittled down to eight for the film. Hugh Bonneville explained the decision saying, "in our film, it's been distilled down to a manageable eight, so I think all the characters are an amalgam." His co-star Bob Balaban added “all the stuff that happens in it is true, but a lot of it is compressed and our characters are combinations of characters.”

George Clooney, Hugh Bonneville and Lulu Williiams on 'The Monuments Men' red carpetGeorge Clooney, Hugh Bonneville and Lulu Williiams on 'The Monuments Men' red carpet

The film has so far received mixed reviews from critics but has been generally praised as a different type of World War II story. Earlier this week Clooney revealed to Variety that the film’s stars had taken a huge pay cut, saying that with the film’s $70 million budget, “everybody worked for super cheap, like crazy cheap." Check out our gallery from the Monuments Men premiere.

Watch The Monuments Men trailer here: