The front-runner and director of Boyhood earned his first Directors Guild Of America’s (DGA) nomination on Tuesday (January 13).
Joining Linklater are first-time nominees Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel and Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game, alongside Clint Eastwood for American Sniper and Alejandro Gonzalez Ińárritu for Birdman.
The winner will be announced at the 67th Annual DGA Awards Dinner on February 7 in Los Angeles.
This is Eastwood’s fourth nod after Unforgiven, Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby, which earned him the prize in 2004.
Eastwood received the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film in 2006.
Ińárritu has been nominated twice before for Babel and Best Job, for which he won the commercials award in 2012.
“In a year full of excellent films, DGA members have nominated a stellar group of passionate filmmakers,” said DGA president Paris Barclay.
“Inspiring and artistic, these five directors made films that left an indelible impact not only on their fellow directors and members of the director’s team, but on audiences around the world. Congratulations to all of the nominees for their terrific work.”