Alejandro G. Iñárritu,
Iñárritu, last year's DGA winner for "Birdman," received his fourth DGA nomination in this category for his revenge western "The Revenant." The 52-year-old Mexican filmmaker won the
McCarthy, 49, earned his first DGA nomination for "Spotlight," the acclaimed drama about Boston Globe reporters who uncovered abuse by Catholic priests in Boston. McCarthy was nominated for a Golden Globe for his direction and is in contention for a Spirit Award.
McKay, 47, who is best known for Will Ferrell comedy blockbusters such as "Anchorman," received his first DGA Award nomination for a feature film for "The Big Short," a comedy-drama about the 2007-08 financial crisis. He is also nominated for a BAFTA.
Miller, 70, is a first-time DGA nominee for "Mad Max: Fury Road," his reboot of his post-apocalyptic franchise. The Australian filmmaker was nominated for a Golden Globe and won the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for his direction.
Scott, 78, earned his fourth DGA Award nomination for the box office blockbuster "The Martian." He was previously nominated for 1991's "Thelma & Louise," 2000's "Gladiator" and 2001's "Blackhawk Down." The British director won the National Review Board of Motion Pictures award for director, was in contention for a Golden Globe and is vying for the BAFTA.
Notably missing from the list were Todd Haynes for "Carol" and
This year, the DGA also unveiled a new category to recognize the achievements of first-time feature film directors. The nominees for outstanding directorial achievement of a first-time feature director for 2015 are Fernando Coimbra for "A Wolf at the Door"; Joel Edgerton for "The Gift"; Alex Garland for "Ex Machina"; Marielle Heller for "The Diary of a Teenage Girl'; and Laszlo Nemes for "Son of Saul."
The DGA Awards have become a leading bellwether for Oscar gold. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the DGA have only disagreed seven times on their winner; the last time was three years ago when Ben Affleck, who failed to receive an Oscar nomination in the category, took home the DGA honor for "Argo." The Oscar that year when to Ang Lee for "Life of Pi."
The winners of the 68th DGA Awards will be announced Feb. 6 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza with actress Jane Lynch as host.