imgresWell this is unexpected- Jon Stewart will step away from The Daily Show for 12 weeks this summer in order to make a bold new step in his career: writing and directing a feature film. Not only that, but he’s taking a page from Ben Affleck’s book and heading to Iran.*

An adaptation of Maziar Bahari’s novel Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story Of Love, Captivity And Survival, it will be title simply Rosewater. Bahari was the documentary filmmaker and BBC journalist who was famously taken prisoner as he attempted to cover the 2009 Iranian elections and was forced by means of torture to publicly confess to being a spy. Following an extended international outcry he was released and returned to London. The title comes from the distinct smell that was the only thing Bahari was ever able to identify about his unseen torturer.

Stewart has some connection to the story as Bahari was a guest on his show, and apparently this was held against him by his captors. The project has the backing of Scott Rudin, EGOT winner and power-producer of films from guys like Fincher and The Coen Brothers, so this ain’t small potatoes.

I’m sure you’re wondering who will replace Stewart, and the show will indeed air 8 weeks of new episodes during his hiatus, led by John Oliver. I’ve got nothing against Oliver, but that sounds like a choice ensuring no one is going to outdo Stewart at his own game while he’s gone.

I’ve been waiting for Jon Stewart’s massive cultural cache to roll into something new (aside from Oscar hosting) and I’m both surprised and excited that filmmaking is a path he’s taking. Imagine if five years from now Jon Stewart is the new Ben Affleck, known for making big boy pants movies from out of left field.


*They really can’t catch a break in movies over here.

Source | Deadline