The Revenant
Behind the scenes on "The Revenant"
READ MORE: Indiewire Awards Season Spotlight 

Following in the footsteps of their DGA nominations, Tom McCarthy ("Spotlight"), Adam McKay ("The Big Short"), George Miller ("Mad Max: Fury Road") and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu ("The Revenant") all repeated with the Academy.

Leading the race is 70-year-old veteran George Miller, whose nomination this year marks his first nom ever. In one of this year's most shocking turn of events, "The Martian" director Ridley Scott was left off this list in favor of Lenny Abrahamson, whose contained direction of "Room" has been critically acclaimed but was hardly considered a real threat by most insiders.

Below is Anne Thompson's take on how things might shake down in the race for best director. Check out Thompson on Hollywood's Oscar predictions page for more awards season analysis. Click here for more category breakdowns on Indiewire.

Nominees:
Tom McCarthy ("Spotlight")
Adam McKay ("The Big Short")
George Miller ("Mad Max: Fury Road")
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu ("The Revenant")

Lenny Abrahamson, "Room"

Predicted Winner: George Miller
Potential Spoiler: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

WINNER: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

For more insight into the 2016 awards season, visit the Indiewire Awards Season Spotlight homepage here.