Roughly three hours ago New York Film Critics Circle honcho John Anderson informed the membership that Warner Bros.will not be screening Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by this coming Sunday, 11.27, and will therefore not be meeting the org’s deadline to allow it to vote yea or nay on Steohen Daldry’s 9/11 drama by Tuesday, 11.29.

Anderson wrote that he’s been told that the film won’t be shown any time before December 2nd. “This despite my having received assurances before that they would [work within our deadline],” Anderson wrote. “Draw your own conclusions.”

National Board of Review members have also been told of this decision, which obviously means that Extremely Loud is out of the running as far as their voting is concerned, which will happen on Thursday, December 1st.

A Warner Bros. source declined to be quoted but explained the following on a background basis: (a) Extremely Loud was never promised for a screening within the NYFCC or NBR deadlines, (b) This early deadline was not made by us but by somebody else, (c) It won’t be completely done until after the deadline, (d) The film will begin to be screened in early December, (e) Filmmakers need to fulfill their process and finish their films to their satisfaction, and (f) We want to show it to everyone but filmmakers need to fulfill their process…that is the moral of this story.

A publicist from the same side of the fence who also didn’t want to be quoted said there was a theoretical contingency plan of showing the film on Sunday, 11.27, but that this date eventually fell out due to post-production requirements which couldn’t be met in time. “We love critics groups. but nobody wants to compromise a director’s vision,” she said. “We never promised that the 11.27 screening was a done deal…we said ‘maybe, could you see it on Sunday?’…and then we had to alter that. I don’t know why John Anderson has reamed us, but it’s a witch hunt…I wish we could have had it ready earlier.”

I’m told that N.Y. Post critic Lou Lumenick said in a message this morning to NYFCC members that WB’s decision “would invite speculation that WB doesn’t think [Extremely Loud] stands a chance.”