If you wonder why athletes don't want to be taken out of the game for an injury, you only need to remember Wally Pipp (Lou Gehrig) and Alex Smith (Colin Kaepernick). So Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show" is making an unusual move: It was announced on Tuesday that he is taking a 12 week hiatus from the Comedy Central series so that he can direct a film.
Stewart will direct a dramatic film named “Rosewater,” from a screenplay that he wrote. The movie is an adaptation of the 2011 book “Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival,” by Maziar Bahari and Aimee Molloy.
The story covers Bahari's trip to Iran in June 2009 to cover the country's presidential elections for the BBC. It was expected to be a one-week trip, but it instead turned into a 118-day ordeal, as Bahari was arrested and held in an Iranian prison.
Bahari was accused of being a spy, and one of the pieces of "evidence" used against him was an appearance he made on The Daily Show. Shortly before his arrest, Bahari had participated in a “Daily Show” sketch, in which one of the show’s correspondents, Jason Jones, pretended to be a spy. Bahari’s Iranian captors used the footage against him. That sketch is embedded.
The name of the film comes from Bahari's interrogator: He was a man Bahari knew only by his scent -- rosewater.
You can imagine how upset we were [that the sketch was used against Bahari], and I struck up a friendship with him afterward.
Stewart added that he has some degree of anxiety over the directing stint:
I am a television person who is accustomed to having a thought at 10 a.m. and having it out there at 6:30 p.m. and moving on, so this is a little scary, yes.
One of the reasons we are in this business is to challenge ourselves, and I really connected to Maziar’s story. It’s a personal story, but one with universal appeal about what it means to be free.
“Rosewater” will cost an estimated $30 million to $40 million to make. Casting is still in its early stages, but shooting could begin overseas as early as June.
Taking the anchor position in Stewart's stead will be "The Daily Show" regular John Oliver. While Stewart will be gone for the show for about three months, Oliver will only be recording eight weeks of new shows, meaning viewers will be subjected to four weeks of reruns. However, those four weeks would have been reruns anyway, as the timing coincides with the show's annual summer break.