Jon Stewart's clever banter is known for giving late-night audiences the giggles, but his new film may do anything but.
Stewart is taking a 12-week hiatus from "The Daily Show" to direct "Rosewater," a script he penned himself that's based on the Maziar Bahari and Aimee Malloy book "Then They Came For Me." Bahari's story is a dark one: He went to Iran to cover the presidential election in 2009 and spent four months in a Tehran prison because he was believed to be plotting a revolution against the government.
Bahari, a Canadian-Iranian journalist, was a guest on "The Daily Show" in 2009, after which he and Stewart struck up a friendship. Stewart said he never intended to adapt the screenplay, but that it "just happened."
Stewart will join forces with producer Scott Rudin ("No Country for Old Men") and Hyatt heiress Gigi Pritzker to produce "Rosewater," which will be shot overseas starting in June.
"I really connected to Maziar’s story," Stewart told the New York Times. "It’s a personal story but one with universal appeal about what it means to be free.”
While Stewart tests out his film chops, John Oliver, a “Daily Show” regular, will take up the helm of guest host.