Steven Spielberg earned his 11th nomination for the DGA's feature… (David James )
Four former winners and one newcomer were nominated for the 65th annual Directors Guild of America Award for directorial achievement in feature film for 2012.
Steven Spielberg, 66, earned his 11th DGA nomination for "Lincoln," the acclaimed epic about the nation's 16th president's efforts to end slavery and the Civil War.
Spielberg has won the DGA award three times, a feat no other director has accomplished. He won for the 1985 drama "The Color Purple," the 1993 Holocaust epic "Schindler's List" and the 1998 World War II drama "Saving Private Ryan."
PHOTOS: Top 10 films of 2012 | Kenneth Turan
Earning her second nomination is Kathryn Bigelow, 61, for "Zero Dark Thirty," her controversial film about the decade-long search for Osama bin Laden. Three years ago, Bigelow became the first female director to win the DGA feature award for "The Hurt Locker."
The 58-year-old Ang Lee, who won the DGA award for the 2000 martial-arts epic "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and the 2005 romantic drama "Brokeback Mountain," received his fourth nomination Tuesday for "Life of Pi," an adventure based on the bestselling novel about a shipwrecked young man and a tiger.
[For the Record, 11:01 a.m. Jan. 8: An earlier version of this post stated that director Ang Lee had been nominated for his third Directors Guild of America Award. It is his fourth nomination.]
Tom Hooper, 40, earns his second DGA nomination for the musical "Les Miserables," which is based on Victor Hugo's novel. Hooper won the DGA award two years ago for "The King's Speech."
The only newcomer is Ben Affleck, 40, who is nominated for "Argo," a political thriller based on a true event about a CIA operative, played by Affleck, who comes up with an ingenious plan to get six Americans out of Iran in 1980.
Notably missing from the list were David O. Russell for "Silver Linings Playbook," Quentin Tarantino for "Django Unchained" and Paul Thomas Anderson for "The Master."
The DGA Awards are considered one of the most reliable bellwethers for the directing Oscar. The DGA and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have disagreed only six times on top director choices. The last time was a decade ago when Rob Marshall won the DGA for the musical "Chicago" and Roman Polanski took home the Oscar for "The Pianist."
This year's winner will be announced at the annual DGA Awards dinner on Feb. 2 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland. Kelsey Grammer is the host.
In 'Lincoln's' beginning was the word
'Zero Dark Thirty' gets early awards season boost
'Argo': Ben Affleck and George Clooney talk about acting in one's own movie
PHOTOS: Memorable red carpet moments
VIDEO: Go behind the scenes with the awards contenders
THE ENVELOPE: Awards insider