Yesterday, we learned George Clooney‘s The Monuments Men was exiting the Oscar race and moving to 2014 in order to have more time to work on the special effects. For those who are unfamiliar with the film, it’s based on a true story about soldiers and historians who have to go to Germany during World War II to rescue artistic masterpieces before they’re destroyed by the Nazis. I love the premise and the cast, but the trailers have been disappointing and disjointed. The scattershot nature could be blamed on the person cutting the trailer, but it turns out that even Clooney is the one searching for the tone of the picture.
Hit the jump for more. The film stars Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, and Bill Murray.
In an interview with The Wrap, Clooney says he’s struggling to strike the right balance between the comic elements and the gravity of the situation.
“It’s been a bit of a dance,” he said in the interview earlier this month. “We’re trying to do the movie in the vein of war films, but you don’t want it to sound like ‘The Great Escape.’ Those movies that were done in the ‘50s and ‘60s, they all had their own sort of life. You don’t want to do a replica, you have to do a new version. “
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with The Great Escape and Clooney happily embraced the screwball comedies of the 1930s and 40s with Leatherheads, but I respect his attempt to try something different with his World War II movie.
However, this attempt to nail the balance between comedy and drama—a schizophrenia that’s clear in both trailers—could be a bigger reason for the movie’s delay. “The movie isn’t ready,” an insider tells The Wrap. “It’s not where it needs to be.”
And I’m fine with waiting. The Monuments Men was one of my most-anticipated movies of the final quarter of 2013, but I’d rather wait for a movie the director is proud of rather than one where the priority is to get it in the Oscar race. If you can have both, which Martin Scorsese and Paramount are trying for with The Wolf of Wall Street, then that’s great. But there are so many movies to see, and it’s not like this one will have any trouble getting released when it’s ready.