"Lincoln" director Steven Spielberg earned his 11th career nomination today for the Directors Guild of America's award for feature films, while Ben Affleck scored his first for his work on "Argo."
Also nominated for the cherished honor were Kathryn Bigelow for "Zero Dark Thirty," Tom Hooper for "Les Miserables" and Ang Lee for "Life of Pi."
Since 1948, there have only been six times that the winner of the DGA Award for feature film directing has not gone on to win the Academy Award for best director. The most recent year was 2002, when Rob Marshall won the DGA Award for "Chicago" but the Oscar went to Roman Polanski for "The Pianist." Last year's DGA winner was "The Artist" director Michel Hazanavicius, who went on to win the Oscar.
Spielberg has won the DGA Award for feature films three times -- for "Saving Private Ryan," "Schindler's List" and "The Color Purple." He received nominations for "Munich," "Amistad," "Empire of the Sun," "E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "Jaws." He received the guild's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.
Bigelow won the DGA Award in 2009 for "The Hurt Locker," which was her only other nomination.
Lee won the award for "Brokeback Mountain" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and was nominated for "Sense and Sensibility."
The nomination was the second for Hooper, who won the award for "The King's Speech."
The DGA Awards will be presented Feb. 2 in the Ray Dolby Ballroom at the Hollywood and Highland Complex. Kelsey Grammer will host the ceremony.
Veteran film director Michael Apted, network news director Eric Shapiro, visual effects specialist Susan Zwerman and stage manager Dency Nelson will receive special achievement awards during the event.
Apted will receive the DGA's Robert B. Aldrich Award for extraordinary service to the guild and its membership, while Shapiro will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award in News Direction.
Zwerman will receive the Frank Capra Achievement Award, which is given to an assistant director or unit production manager for career achievement and service to the guild. Nelson will receive the Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award, recognizing an associate director or stage manager for service to the industry and guild.
Milos Forman will be honored with the guild's Lifetime Achievement Award in Motion Picture Direction.
Nominations for the DGA Awards for television and commercials will be announced Wednesday, while documentary directing nods will be announced Monday.