Deadline reports that Daily Show host Jon Stewart is taking the summer off to make a movie about an Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari, who was imprisoned after appearing in a Daily Show sketch. For eight of his 12 weeks off, Stewart will be replaced by regular John Oliver.
The movie, which Stewart wrote, is based on Bahari's 2011 book Then They Came For Me: A Family's Story Of Love, Captivity And Survival, about his experiences covering the 2009 Iranian presidential elections, and his subsequent four-month imprisonment—and torture—in Iranian prison on charges of conspiring to launch a revolution. Bahari has been on the Daily Show—initially as a participant in a sketch:
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."
Mr. Stewart said he eventually read Mr. Bahari's book and "because I'm naïve about the movie business" started to think about a film. He said he did not intend to also adapt the screenplay. "It just kind of happened," he said.
The movie is called Rosewater; Oscar-winner Scott Rudin will produce.