The Fincher nomination is the biggest surprise among the nominees. Among the directors thought to have a better chance than Fincher were Steven Spielberg for "War Horse," Terrence Malick for "The Tree of Life" and Tate Taylor for "The Help."
The nominations mean that "The Descendants" and "Midnight in Paris" are the only films to receive nominations from the Producers Guild, Writers Guild and Directors Guild, along with a Screen Actors Guild ensemble nomination.
"The Artist" received PGA, DGA and SAG nominations but is not eligible for the WGA Award.
The five nominated directors have 20 DGA film nominations between them, with nine of those going to Scorsese (above, making a cameo appearance in "Hugo"). This is Allen's fifth nomination, Fincher's third, Payne's second and Hazanavicius' first.
Fincher has also been nominated twice and won once for his commercial work.
Typically, four of the five DGA nominees go on to receive Oscar nominations. In the last decade, the DGA has matched all five Oscar nominees twice, four out of five six times and three out of five twice.
When it comes to winning the Oscar, the DGA is an even more accurate predictor. In the 63-year history of the DGA Awards, 57 of its winners, including the last eight in a row, have gone on to take the Academy Award for Best Director.
In that span, there has never been an Oscar-winning director who did not also receive a DGA nomination.
The nominees, and their directing teams, from the DGA press release:
Midnight in Paris
(Sony Pictures Classics)
Mr. Allen’s Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Managers: Matthieu Rubin, Helen Robin
· First Assistant Director: Gil Kenny
· Second Assistant Director: Delphine Bertrand
This is Mr. Allen’s fifth DGA Feature Film Award nomination. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for Annie Hall (1977), and was previously nominated in that category for Manhattan (1979), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989). Mr. Allen was honored with the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
(Columbia Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures)
Mr. Fincher’s Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Manager: Daniel M. Stillman
· First Assistant Director: Bob Wagner
· Second Assistant Director: Allen Kupetsky
· Production Manager (Sweden Unit): Karolina Heimburg
· Second Assistant Directors (Sweden Unit): Hanna Nilsson, Pontus Klänge
· 2nd Second Assistant Director (Sweden Unit): Niklas Sjöström
· 2nd Second Assistant Director (U.S. Unit): Maileen Williams
· Unit Production Manager (Zurich Unit): Christos Dervenis
· Unit Production Manager (U.K. Unit): Lara Baldwin
· Second Assistant Director (U.K. Unit): Paul Taylor
This is Mr. Fincher’s third DGA Feature Film Award nomination. He was previously nominated in this category last year for The Social Network and for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in 2008. He previously won the DGA Commercial Award for Speed Chain (Nike), Gamebreakers (Nikegridiron.com), and Beauty for Sale (Xelibri Phones) in 2003 and was nominated in that category again in 2008.
(The Weinstein Company)
Mr. Hazanavicius’ Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Manager: Antoine De Cazotte
· Production Manager (FR): Ségoléne Fleury
· First Assistant Director (FR): James Canal
· First Assistant Director (US): David Cluck
· Second Assistant Director (US): Dave Paige
· Second Second Assistant Directors: Karla Strum, Ricky Robinson
This is Mr. Hazanavicius’ first DGA Feature Film Award nomination.
(Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Mr. Payne’s Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Manager: George Parra
· First Assistant Director: Richard L. Fox
· Second Assistant Director: Scott August
· Second Second Assistant Director: Amy Wilkins Bronson
This is Mr. Payne’s second DGA Feature Film Award nomination. He was previously nominated in that category for Sideways in 2004.
Mr. Scorsese’s Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Managers: Charles Newirth, Georgia Kacandes, Angus More Gordon
· First Assistant Director: Chris Surgent
· Second Assistant Director: Richard Graysmark
· Second Assistant Directors: Tom Brewster, Fraser Fennell-Ball
· Production Managers (Paris Unit): Michael Sharp, Gilles Castera
· First Assistant Director (Paris Unit): Ali Cherkaoui
This is Mr. Scorsese’s ninth DGA Award nomination. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film in 2006 for The Departed, and was previously nominated in that category for Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), The Age of Innocence (1993), Gangs of New York (2002) and The Aviator (2004). Mr. Scorsese also won the DGA Award last year for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Television for Boardwalk Empire. In 1999, Mr. Scorsese was presented with the Filmmaker Award at the inaugural DGA Honors Gala, and he was honored with the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003