James L. Brooks New Film ‘Ella McCay’ Sets All-Star Ensemble That Includes Emma Mackey, Woody Harrelson, Jamie Lee Curtis And Albert Brooks As 20th Century Boards Project

EXCLUSIVE: It’s been almost 13 years since James L. Brooks last directed a film and looks like fans of the Oscar-winning writer/director will soon have their wish granted as his next project nears production. Sources tell Deadline that not only as 20th Century come on to Brooks’ next film Ella McCkay but that Emma Mackey, Jamie Lee Curtis, Woody Harrelson, Ayo Edebiri, Albert Brooks, Kumail Nanjiani and Spike Fearn are in negotiations to star in the pic.

“As one of the most empathetic dramatists of our time, James Brooks has set the bar across film and television for decades,” said Steve Asbell, President, 20th Century Studios. “From Broadcast News to The Simpsons, Jim is also a foundational element in the bedrock of 20th and we couldn’t be more proud to support him in his long awaited return to the director’s chair.”

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The film will follow an idealistic young politician 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.

Brooks will also produce along with his producing partners Julie Ansell, and Richard Sakai, who will produce the film through their Gracie Films banner. Seth Meier will executive produce.

EVP Scott Aversano will oversee for 20th.

While Brooks hasn’t directed a film since the 2010 comedy How Do You Know starring Owen Wilson and Reese Witherspoon he still is very busy on the producing front most recently with the adaptation of the Judy Bloom novel Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Released by Lionsgate earlier this year, the film has garnered high praise and recently earned star Rachel McAdams a Gotham nomination.

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