Martin Scorsese, Steve McQueen and David O.Russell will battle for the Directors Guild of America's top award at the organisation's upcoming gala prizegiving.
The filmmakers join Gravity's Alfonso Cuaron and Captain Phillips' Paul Greengrass among the nominees for this year's trophy.
McQueen (12 Years a Slave), Cuaron and Greengrass have never been nominated for a DGA award before, while Russell (American Hustle) was nominated for The Fighter in 2010, and The Wolf of Wall Street director Scorsese, who won the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film in 2006 for The Departed, has been nominated another 10 times.
The DGA Awards will be handed out in Los Angeles on 25 January (14) at a ceremony to be hosted by Jane Lynch.
All five nominees are favoured to pick up the five nominations for the Best Director category at the Oscars in March (14).
The guild's TV nominations will be announced on Thursday (09Jan14).
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