George Clooney's latest venture in front of and behind the camera; The Monuments Men, has been held back from it's planned release date following problems in applying the visual effects to certain scenes. The World War II set drama, which was also co-written and directed by Clooney, was due to be released on 18 December, however a statement from Clooney, given to the Los Angeles Times, revealed that the film is no longer running on schedule and as such it's release will be delayed until early 2014.

The Monuments Men
The Monuments Men was initially set for a 18 December release

The film, in which Clooney leads a team of art historians, museum curators and academics in a race to rescue a number of priceless works of art looted by the Nazis during their rampage through Europe. The screenplay was written by Clooney and Grant Heslov, who used the Robert Edsel account, The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, to base the movie on.

"We just didn't have enough time," Clooney said on Tuesday, 22 October. He continued, "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."

The film's delay now means that it is ineligible to be entered into the race for the 2014 Academy Awards, however Clooney insisted in his phone chat that Oscar glory had never been the main ambition of the film. He said, "All we've ever said, from the very beginning, is that we wanted to make a commercial, non-cynical piece of entertainment," one that focuses on the ensemble cast, "similar to The Guns of Navarone." The film also stars Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin and Hugh Bonneville.

John Goodman George Clooney
The film features an all-star cast

The Monuments Men isn't the only big name release that has been delayed this year, as scheduled 2013 releases The Wolf of Wall Street, Foxcatcher, Grace of Monaco and The Immigrant have all been pushed back to 2014. But Clooney isn't worried about pushing the film back, and reckons that by pushing the film out of the over-crowded Christmas market, The Monuments Men will stand a better chance of being a success at the box office. With it's Oscar hoped now dashed, a strong box office return will be needed to keep it in the mind of the Oscar committee come 2015.

Check out the trailer for The Monuments Men

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