Jon Stewart Is Leaving The Daily Show (Temporarily) To Direct A Serious Film?

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Daily Show host Stewart told the NY Times he will be taking 12 weeks off from hosting duties to direct the drama "Rosewater," for which he wrote a screenplay.

John Oliver, who often portrays the show's "Senior British Correspondent," will be taking over as guest host for eight weeks. The usual four-week break that the show takes during the summer will be the last four weeks of Stewart's leave.

Rosewater tells the story of Maziar Bahari, a Newsweek reporter who was supposed to visit Iran for one week and was instead imprisoned for 118 days and interrogated.

From the New York Times:

A Canadian-Iranian journalist and documentarian, Mr. Bahari was jailed in Tehran in 2009 for four months, accused of plotting a revolution against the government. Shortly before his arrest, Mr. Bahari had participated in a “Daily Show” sketch, conducted by one of the show’s correspondents, Jason Jones, who was pretending to be a spy. Mr. Bahari’s captors used the footage against him.

“You can imagine how upset we were,” Mr. Stewart said, “and I struck up a friendship with him afterward.”

The film is based on the book, Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival, by Maziar Bahari and Aimee Molloy.

While it'll be strange to see someone other than Stewart host The Daily Show and even weirder to see Stewart direct and co-produce a serious film, he told the Times that the film will have some humor in it.

“One of the things that appealed to me about the story is that it does have lighter moments,” Mr. Stewart said. “One of the things that kept Maziar alive was his ability to keep his sense of humor — to remember about joy and laughter — and see the absurdity of his situation.”

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