Jon Stewart will be taking the summer off from “The Daily Show,” according to Deadline, with John Oliver filling in for eight of the 12 weeks he’ll be out. Why? Well, because Stewart’s off to make his feature directorial debut.
Stewart will be directing “Rosewater,” from a script he adapted from “Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story Of Love, Captivity And Survival,” the 2011 memoir by Iranian Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari. Bahari details his arrest and imprisonment when he left London to go to Tehran to cover the 2009 Iranian presidential election. The book covers both his family’s history in the country and his harrowing 118-day stint in prison. “Rosewater” is the nickname Bahari gives to his regular, brutal interrogator, based on the fragrance he wore.
So, not exactly a “Daily Show”-style satire tailored for the big screen. But Stewart’s intelligent and ethics-driven take on international and domestic events has always been apparent under the jokes, so the project’s not such an outlandish choice for his time out as a director. And as Deadline points out, he “had a personal stake in the story: After Bahari was accused of spying, one of the items used against him was an appearance he made on The Daily Show.”
Scott Rudin will produce “Rosewater” with Stewart and Gigi Pritzker, whose OddLot Entertainment is financing the project. Here’s Bahari’s “Daily Show” appearance from 2009: