As the latest potential Oscar contender to exit the awards race, Sony’s George Clooney-directed WWII drama “The Monuments Men” has moved to first quarter 2014.

According to Clooney, the film won’t be ready in time to make its original Dec. 18 release date.

Sony has yet to set a new date for the pic.

The news, which broke Tuesday evening, surprised the industry, especially since Sony has been so high on the film, having begun marketing the film with two theatrical trailers already. The studio also hired an awards consultant for the film.

“Monuments Men,” which is based on the book by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter, tells the true story of a motley crew of historians and art dealers, who were sent behind enemy lines to rescue stolen art from the Nazis. Clooney, who also co-wrote the film with Grant Heslov, toplines an ensemble, which includes Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman and Jean Dujardin.

A list of other Ocar contenders have vacated the race in recent weeks, including Sony Classics’ “Foxcatcher” and the Weinstein Co.’s “Grace of Monaco.” It’s still uncertain whether Paramount also will move Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” to 2014. The director is racing to finish the film and should know whether he can within the coming weeks, according to sources.

The Los Angeles Times broke the “Monuments Men” story.