Nolan won the Theatrical Feature Film award at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) Awards at Saturday's (February 10) ceremony, beating Greta Gerwig, Yorgos Lanthimos, Martin Scorsese and Alexander Payne to the award.
The DGA win is a huge boost for Nolan's Academy Awards hopes as, pointed out by Oscarmetrics author Ben Zauzmer, nearly all of the last 10 winners of the award have gone on to secure Best Director at the Oscars.
"Christopher Nolan (Oppenheimer) won the Feature Film category at last night's Directors Guild Awards. 9 of the last 10 winners went on to win the Oscar for Best Director," he wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter), noting that the only exception was Sam Mendes.
1917 had earned Mendes a Best Director nomination for his work in 2020, with the World War One epic ultimately losing out to Bong Joon-ho's Parasite.
Alongside Nolan, the DGA awards also saw wins for Celine Song with her feature film debut Past Lives, Peter Hoar for The Last of Us episode 'Long, Long Time' and Christopher Storer with The Bear episode 'Fishes'.
Nolan's biopic - which tells the life of J Robert Oppenheimer, father of the atomic bomb - is currently leading the nominations for next month's Oscars, with the movie competing in 13 categories.
Alongside Nolan's Best Director nod, Oppenheimer has also received nominations for Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Film Editing, Music, Sound, Production, Make-up and Hairstyling, and Costume.
Lead actor Cillian Murphy has also been nominated for Best Actor for his work as Oppenheimer, while Robert Downey Jr and Emily Blunt have both picked up nominations for Best Supporting Actor and Actress.
The 96th Academy Awards take place on Sunday, March 10 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. It will be broadcast on ITV in the UK. Oppenheimer is available to rent or buy now from Prime Video, iTunes, Microsoft Store and more.
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