UPDATED with more details: The DGA has unveiled nominees for its 70th Annual DGA Awards in the feature film category as well as for the category for first-time director. The theme of first-timers is clear: Four of the five films in the marquee category are first-time DGA nominees: Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water), Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird),  Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missiouri) and Jordan Peele (Get Out), the latter of whom made both lists.

Deadline

The fifth director in the Feature Film race, Dunkirk‘s Christopher Nolan, is up for his fourth DGA Award, but is hoping that this is the first of his DGA nods that also transfers to an Oscar nomination for Best Director, something that has eluded him so far. His previous DGA nominations came for Memento (2000), The Dark Knight (2008) and Inception (2010), but though he was Oscar nominated as producer and writer of the latter, as well as writer of Memento, the Academy’s director branch has always overlooked him. I am predicting that should and will not be the case this year.

Universal Pictures

With nominations in both categories today, Peele is instantly the front-runner for First Timer. He is only the fourth black director to be nominated for the main DGA honor. Gerwig is also in rarefied air as a female nominee, and while many think Lady Bird was also her first time behind the camera, in fact she shared a co-director credit with Joe Swanberg for 2008’s mumblecore film Nights and Weekends, thus ineligible for recognition in the first-timer category here. It is also interesting that two actors , both basically novice directors helming their own screenplays, managed to get this kind of recognition from the DGA.

A24

With today’s noms the DGA is also showing diversity by nominating a woman, an African American, and Mexico’s del Toro alongside Nolan and McDonagh, both from England.

Most notable among those snubbed today is Steven Spielberg for The Post, a terrific film expected to be a major player this season but one that has inexplicably been absent from key guild awards lists including a shutout at SAG, WGA and now DGA. It was nominated among the 11 films on the PGA list, but then went home empty-handed after six nominations at Sunday’s  Golden Globes. It opens nationwide tomorrow, so perhaps the late-breaking release was a factor. Who knows? Spielberg is a three-time DGA winner, an 11-time nominee and Life Achievement recipient, so perhaps voters thought he had enough in a year where the guild is clearly looking to honor fresh blood. For  Spielberg, it is a shame since The Post represents some of his finest work. He was last nominated for Lincoln in 2012.

Also missing from the list were other potential nominees including Joe Wright (Darkest Hour) and Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name).

The DGA award has always been an important bellwether in determining who will go on to win the corresponding directing Oscar. Since their inception in 1950 , the DGA Awards have only disagreed seven times with the ultimate Academy Award winner; the last time that happened  was 2012, when when Argo’s Ben Affleck failed to get nominated in Oscar’s Directing category.

Winners will be announced February 3 at the Beverly Hilton.

Here’s the nominees list for both categories:

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN FEATURE FILM

GUILLERMO del TORO
The Shape of Water
(Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Unit Production Manager: J. Miles Dale
Production Manager: Dennis Chapman
First Assistant Director: Pierre Henry
Second Assistant Director: Tyler Delben

GRETA GERWIG
Lady Bird
(A24)
Unit Production Managers: Lila Yacoub, Danielle Blumstein, Jamin O’Brien (New York Crew)
First Assistant Directors: Jonas Spaccarotelli, Cedric Vara (New York Crew)
Second Assistant Director: Brendan Lee, Dana Zolli (New York Crew)
Second Second Assistant Directors: Lillian Awa, Teri Barber

MARTIN McDONAGH
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
(Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Unit Production Manager: Bergen Swanson
Assistant Unit Production Manager: Peggy Robinson
First Assistant Director: Peter Kohn
Second Assistant Director: Paula Case
Second Second Assistant Director: Spencer Taylor

CHRISTOPHER NOLAN
Dunkirk
(Warner Bros.)
Unit Production Managers: David Witz, Christine Raspillere (France Unit), Chris Brock (UK Unit), Nicky Tüske (Netherlands Unit)
First Assistant Directors: Nilo Otero, William Pruss (France Unit), Willem Quarles van Ufford (Netherlands Unit)
Second Assistant Director: Eric Lasko, Nicolas Baldino (France Unit), Alexis Chelli (France Unit), Clément Comet (France Unit)
Second Second Assistant Director: Alina Gatti

JORDAN PEELE
Get Out
(Universal Pictures)
Unit Production Managers: Marcei A. Brown, Rick A. Osako (Fairhope Unit)
First Assistant Director: Gerard DiNardi
Second Assistant Directors: Ram Paul Silbey, Marc Newland (Fairhope Unit), Jack McKenna (New York Unit)
Second Second Assistant Director: Maggie Ballard
Location Manager: Kurt Enger (New York Unit)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT OF A FIRST-TIME FEATURE FILM DIRECTOR

GEREMY JASPER
Patti Cake$
(Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Unit Production Manager: Sara Blechman
First Assistant Director: Inna Braude
Second Assistant Director: Natasha Rivera
Second Second Assistant Director: Lucas Isabella
Additional Second Second Assistant Director: Alice Johnson

WILLIAM OLDROYD
Lady Macbeth
(Roadside Attractions)
Production Manager: Robert K. Harm
Unit Manager: Eugene Galbrath
First Assistant Director: George Every
Second Assistant Director: Richard Stanley Jan Harris

JORDAN PEELE
Get Out
(Universal Pictures)
Unit Production Managers: Marcei A. Brown, Rick A. Osako (Fairhope Unit)
First Assistant Director: Gerard DiNardi
Second Assistant Directors: Ram Paul Silbey, Marc Newland (Fairhope Unit), Jack McKenna (New York Unit)
Second Second Assistant Director: Maggie Ballard
Location Manager: Kurt Enger (New York Unit)

TAYLOR SHERIDAN
Wind River
(Acacia Entertainment)
Unit Production Manager: Christopher H. Warner
First Assistant Director: Nicholas Harvard
Second Assistant Director: Jason Altieri
Second Second Assistant Director: Kristina Massie

AARON SORKIN
Molly’s Game
(STX Entertainment)
Unit Production Managers: Lyn Lucibello-Brancatella, Stuart M. Besser, Michael Beugg (Los Angeles Unit)
Assistant Unit Production Manager: Bart Lipton (Los Angeles Unit)
First Assistant Director: Walter Gasparovic
Second Assistant Directors: Penny Charter, Travis Rehwaldt (New York Unit), Paula Case (Los Angeles Unit)
Second Second Assistant Directors: Conor Griff (New York Unit), Drew Ritson (New York Unit), Bryan Snodgrass (Los Angeles Unit)
Location Manager: Dena Ghieth (New York Unit)