Once again, I’m not trying to make this into a “breaking news” type blog, but this is the kind of thing that I can’t pass up passing on. I love Jon Stewart, and think he’s truly one of the best interviewers on television right now, so I kind of have mixed feelings on this. According to this story on Deadline,
Jon Stewart will take a 12-week hiatus from hosting Comedy Central‘s The Daily Show to make his feature directing debut this summer. Stewart has written the script, and will direct Rosewater, an adaptation of the book Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story Of Love, Captivity And Survival. Published in 2011 by Random House, the book is Maziar Bahari’s harrowing ordeal of leaving London in June 2009 to cover Iran’s presidential elections. With a pregnant fiance left behind, the BBC journalist expected to be away for a week. Instead, he spent the next 118 days in Iran’s most notorious prison being brutally interrogated by a man he knew only by one thing: he smelled of Rosewater. Bahari wrote the book with Aimee Molloy. Scott Rudin will produce with Stewart and Gigi Pritzker. Pritzker’s OddLot Entertainment is financing the film.
They go on to report that while Stewart is off, John Oliver will be taking over the hosting duties on The Daily Show. I do like Oliver, but wonder if he can come anywhere close to matching Stewart’s passionate interviewing style. Obviously, he will have the support of the rest of the writing staff behind him for the first two segments of the show, so those are a little less in doubt, but Stewart has nade the show so much his own it’s hard to see anyone stepping into his shoes for such an extended period.
Of course, credit must be given to Comedy Central for giving Stewart the opportunity to pursue what is obviously a passion project for him, especially considering, as the report also points out “after Bahari was accused of spying, one of the items used against him was an appearance he made on The Daily Show.”
And in the end, one simply has to wish Stewart luck with this project. It’s certainly going to be interesting to see how it turns out.