The directors of the five top Oscar contenders have been nominated for the DGA award: The Hurt Locker‘s Kathryn Bigelow, Avatar‘s James Cameron, Precious‘ Lee Daniels, Up in the Air‘s Jason Reitman, and Inglourious Basterds‘ Quentin Tarantino. It’s the biggest boost for Daniels, who was left off the Golden Globes’ list (Invictus‘ Clint Eastwood scored a nomination instead). Could Daniels now trump Eastwood for the fifth slot at the Oscars? I’d say they’re now equal contenders for the nomination.

Check out my updated precursor tally: With today’s news, Avatar has now jumped up a few notches. And follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for all the Oscar-related news.