2024 Oscars Best Director Predictions

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony Awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages reflect the current standings in the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any individual contender. As other formal (and informal) polls suggest, competitions are fluid and subject to change based on buzz and events. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

Visit the prediction pages for the respective ceremonies via the links below:


2023 Oscars Predictions:
Best Achievement in Directing

Weekly Commentary (Updated Aug. 10, 2023): It’ll all be up to the directors to promote their movies, at least if the ongoing Hollywood strikes continue.

The good news for studios is there are masters of film expected to be in the mix including Martin Scorsese (“Killers of the Flower Moon”), Christopher Nolan (“Oppenheimer”) and Michael Mann (“Ferrari”).

The other positive spin on the far-out look is a number of women directors could be in the discussion including Greta Gerwig, whose history-making “Barbie” continues to pick up momentum. She would be only the second woman to be nominated a second time after Jane Campion achieved it two years ago with “The Power of the Dog.”

Another former directing nominee that we should expect to hear buzz about is Emerald Fennell with her Amazon drama “Saltburn.” Her follow-up after “Promising Young Woman,” she could also factor into the race along with debut filmmaker Celine Song for the indie arthouse hit “Past Lives.”

Venice and Telluride will kick off at the end of August. We’ll see how some of the films play.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Oscars predictions in all categories.

The submission deadline for general categories is Nov. 18, 2023. Preliminary shortlist voting will begin on Dec. 18, with the results announced on Dec. 21. The voting period will run from Jan. 11-16, 2024, with the official nominations announcement on Jan. 23.

The 96th Oscars will be held on Sunday, Mar. 10.

The list below is not final and will be updated during the awards season.

And the Predicted Nominees Are:

  1. Martin Scorsese — “Killers of the Flower Moon” (Apple Original Films/Paramount Pictures)
  2. Christopher Nolan — “Oppenheimer” (Universal Pictures)
  3. Emerald Fennell — “Saltburn” (Amazon Studios)
  4. Michael Mann — “Ferrari” (Neon)
  5. Greta Gerwig — “Barbie” (Warner Bros.)

Next in Line

  1. Celine Song — “Past Lives” (A24)
  2. Jonathan Glazer — “The Zone of Interest” (A24)
  3. Todd Haynes — “May December” (Netflix)
  4. Bradley Cooper — “Maestro” (Netflix)
  5. Alexander Payne — “The Holdovers” (Focus Features)

Other Top-Tier Possibilities

  1. Yorgos Lanthimos — “Poor Things” (Searchlight Pictures)
  2. Justine Triet — “Anatomy of a Fall” (Neon)
  3. Craig Gillespie — “Dumb Money” (Sony Pictures)
  4. Jeff Nichols — “The Bikeriders” (20th Century Studios)
  5. Blitz Bazawule — “The Color Purple” (Warner Bros.)
  6. Ben Affleck — “Air” (Amazon Studios)
  7. Chloe Domont — “Fair Play” (Netflix)
  8. David Fincher — “The Killer” (Netflix)
  9. Andrew Haigh — “All of Us Strangers” (Searchlight Pictures)
  10. Anh Hung Tran — “The Pot au Feu” (IFC Films)

Also In Contention

  1. Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson — “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” (Sony Pictures)
  2. Ridley Scott — “Napoleon” (Apple Original Films/Sony Pictures)
  3. George C. Wolfe — “Rustin” (Netflix)
  4. Pablo Larraín — “El Conde” (Netflix)
  5. George Clooney — “The Boys in the Boat” (MGM)
  6. Sofia Coppola — “Priscilla” (A24)
  7. Matt Johnson — “BlackBerry” (IFC Films)
  8. Ava DuVernay — “Origin” (No U.S. Distribution)
  9. Matt Brown — “Freud’s Last Session” (Sony Pictures Classics) **
  10. Maggie Betts — “The Burial” (Amazon Studios)

All Eligible Titles (Alphabetized by Studio)**

  • Kenneth Branagh – “A Haunting in Venice” (20th Century Studios)
  • Jeff Nichols – “The Bikeriders” (20th Century Studios)
  • Ari Aster – “Beau is Afraid” (A24)
  • Sean Durkin – “The Iron Claw” (A24)
  • Celine Song – “Past Lives” (A24)
  • Sofia Coppola – “Priscilla” (A24)
  • Kelly Reichardt – “Showing Up” (A24)
  • Jesse Eisenberg — “When You Finish Saving the World” (A24)
  • Nicole Holofcener – “You Hurt My Feelings” (A24)
  • Jonathan Glazer – “The Zone of Interest” (A24)
  • Ben Affleck – “Air” (Amazon Studios)
  • Maggie Betts – “The Burial” (Amazon Studios)
  • Roger Ross Williams – “Cassandro” (Amazon Studios)
  • Garth Davis – “Foe” (Amazon Studios)
  • Emerald Fennell – “Saltburn” (Amazon Studios)
  • Christos Nikou – “Fingernails” (Apple Original Films)
  • John Carney – “Flora and Son” (Apple Original Films)
  • Martin Scorsese – “Killers of the Flower Moon” (Apple Original Films/Paramount Pictures)
  • Ridley Scott – “Napoleon” (Apple Original Films/Sony Pictures)
  • Guy Nattiv – “Golda” (Bleecker Street)
  • Wes Anderson – “Asteroid City” (Focus Features)
  • Alexander Payne – “The Holdovers” (Focus Features)
  • A.V. Rockwell – “A Thousand and One” (Focus Features)
  • Matt Johnson – “BlackBerry” (IFC Films)
  • Andrea Pallaoro – “Monica” (IFC Films)
  • Anh Hung Tran – “The Pot au Feu” (IFC Films)
  • Eva Longoria — “Flamin’ Hot” (Hulu/Searchlight Pictures)
  • Kelly Fremon Craig — “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” (Lionsgate)
  • Francis Lawrence – “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” (Lionsgate)
  • Adele Lim – “Joy Ride” (Lionsgate)
  • Lisa Cortes – “Little Richard: I Am Everything” (Magnolia Pictures)
  • Paul Schrader – “Master Gardener” (Magnolia Pictures)
  • James Gunn – “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” (Marvel Studios)
  • Nia DaCosta – “The Marvels” (Marvel Studios)
  • George Clooney – “The Boys in the Boat” (MGM)
  • Michael B. Jordan – “Creed III” (MGM)
  • RaMell Ross — “The Nickel Boys” (MGM)
  • Cord Jefferson – “American Fiction” (MGM)
  • Justin Triet – “Anatomy of a Fall” (Neon)
  • William Oldroyd – “Eileen” (Neon)
  • Daniel Goldhaber – “How to Blow Up a Pipeline” (Neon)
  • Alice Rochwacher – “La Chimera” (Neon)
  • Wim Wenders — “Perfect Days” (Neon)
  • Pablo Larrain – “El Conde” (Netflix)
  • Chloe Dumont – “Fair Play” (Netflix)
  • David Fincher – “The Killer” (Netflix)
  • Sam Esmail – “Leave the World Behind” (Netflix)
  • Todd Haynes – “May December” (Netflix)
  • Bradley Cooper – “Maestro” (Netflix)
  • Jimmy Chin, Chai Vasarhelyi — “Nyad” (Netflix)
  • David Yates — “Pain Hustlers” (Netflix)
  • Zack Snyder – “Rebel Moon” (Netflix)
  • George C. Wolfe – “Rustin” (Netflix)
  • J.A. Bayona – “Society of the Snow” (Netflix)
  • Ava DuVernay – “Origin” (No U.S. Distribution)
  • Tony Goldwyn – “Ezra” (No U.S. Distribution)
  • Ellen Kuras – “Lee” (No U.S. Distribution)
  • Reinaldo Marcus Green – “Bob Marley: One Love” (Paramount Pictures) **
  • Peter Sohn – “Elemental” (Pixar)
  • Ray Romano – “Somewhere in Queens” (Roadside Attractions)
  • Andrew Haigh – “All of Us Strangers” (Searchlight Pictures)
  • Taika Waititi – “Next Goal Wins” (Searchlight Pictures) **
  • Yorgos Lanthimos – “Poor Things” (Searchlight Pictures)
  • Jeymes Samuel – “The Book of Clarence” (Sony Pictures) **
  • Craig Gillespie – “Dumb Money” (Sony Pictures)
  • Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson – “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” (Sony Pictures)
  • Matt Brown – “Freud’s Last Session” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Angus MacLachlan – “A Little Prayer” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Ilker Çatak – “The Teachers Lounge” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Michael Mann – “Ferrari” (Neon)
  • Christopher Nolan – “Oppenheimer” (Universal Pictures)
  • Rebecca Miller – “She Came to Me” (Vertical Entertainment)
  • Greta Gerwig – “Barbie” (Warner Bros.)
  • Ángel Manuel Soto – “Blue Beetle” (Warner Bros.)
  • Blitz Bazawule – “The Color Purple” (Warner Bros.) **
  • Denis Villeneuve – “Dune: Part Two” (Warner Bros.) **
  • Paul King – “Wonka” (Warner Bros.) **
  • Rob Marshall – “The Little Mermaid” (Walt Disney Pictures)
  • Chris Buck, Fawn Veerasunthorn – “Wish” (Walt Disney Pictures) **

2022 category winner: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)

** indicates an unconfirmed release date in 2023 or could campaign in the lead or supporting categories. All release dates are subject to change.

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About the Academy Awards

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners have been selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Seventeen branches are represented within the nearly 10,000-person membership. The branches are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, members-at-large, members-at-large (artists’ representatives), music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects and writers.

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