Yesterday Deadline‘s Justin Kroll reported that James L. Brooks is planning to direct a new feature — his first since 2010’s How Do You Know, which unfortunately didn’t work out.

The Brooks project is called Ella McCay, and it sounds like some kind of West Wing-y type deal but set in a governor’s mansion. Politics mixed with a romantic current, I’m presuming, Brooks being Brooks.

The titular role will be played by 27 year-old Emma Mackey (Emma, Death on the Nile), whom HE approves of on a primal attraction level. The costars are Woody Harrelson, Jamie Lee Curtis and Albert Brooks. 20th Century Studios will distribute.

Kroll: “The film will follow an idealistic young politician (Mackey) who juggles familial issues and a challenging work life while preparing to take over the job of her mentor, the state’s longtime incumbent governor (presumably Harrelson).”

Take over the governorship at age 30 or thereabouts? How would that work exactly? Maybe the plot will have Mackey secretly take over a la Edith Wilson after Governor Harrelson falls ill. Maybe she’ll assume power after Harrelson is brought down by a sexual scandal (i.e., New York State’s Kathy Hochul taking the reins after Andrew Cuomo was torpedoed)…something like that.

Brooks’ heyday happened during the ’70s on television (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Taxi), and in features during the late ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. Nobody was more in love with the Brooks brand than myself — those brilliant, incisive, emotional empathy scenarios that wrestled with real-life adult stuff. Then again Brooks has been out of the game for 13 years, and his last film was a bust, and he’s now 83.

When you boil it all down, Brooks’ feature film rep rests upon four really good feature films — 1979’s Starting Over (which he wrote and co-produced along with director Alan Pakula), 1983’s Terms of Endearment, 1987’s Broadcast News and 1997’s As Good as It Gets. But really three as Pakula was in command of that Burt Reynolds-Jill Clayburgh romcom.

Brooks’ I’ll Do Anything (’94) was a disaster, and Spanglish (’04) didn’t pan out either. On the other hand he produced Big (’88), The War of the Roses (’89), Jerry Maguire (’96), Riding in Cars with Boys (’01), The Edge of Seventeen (’16) and Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (’23). Brooks also exec produced Say Anything… (’89) and Bottle Rocket (’96).

Kroll reports that Brooks will produce Ella McCay along with Gracie Films producing partners Julie Ansell and Richard Sakai.