Jon Stewart taking an 12-week hiatus to direct a movie. Whaa?

That’s right, Jon Stewart is going to be a film director. Starting this summer, Stewart will be taking a 12-week hiatus from hosting The Daily Show to direct Rosewater, the film adaptation of BBC journalist Maziar Bahari’s  memoir Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival. Stewart also adapted the script. Ooh, a director and a screenwriter, check out Mr. Jonny ICanDoEverythingberg over here. Whatever, he doesn’t even work Fridays.

Bahari’s book tells the story of his 2009 arrest by the Iranian government while covering an election protest. He subsequently was interrogated and tortured during the next 118 days.

I’m excited to see what the funny man can do with a story this hilarious! The only casualty in this audience will be my sides!

In Stewart’s place, Daily Show correspondent John Oliver will sit at the desk of the series, which tapes and airs original episodes Monday through Thursday. [HollywoodReporter]

Here’s a little more about the book, from Amazon:

When Maziar Bahari left London in June 2009 to cover Iran’s presidential election, he assured his pregnant fiancée, Paola, that he’d be back in just a few days, a week at most. Little did he know, as he kissed her good-bye, that he would spend the next three months in Iran’s most notorious prison, enduring brutal interrogation sessions at the hands of a man he knew only by his smell: Rosewater.

For the Bahari family, wars, coups, and revolutions are not distant concepts but intimate realities they have suffered for generations: Maziar’s father was imprisoned by the shah in the 1950s, and his sister by Ayatollah Khomeini in the 1980s. Alone in his cell at Evin Prison, fearing the worst, Maziar draws strength from his memories of the courage of his father and sister in the face of torture, and hears their voices speaking to him across the years. He dreams of being with Paola in London, and imagines all that she and his rambunctious, resilient eighty-four-year-old mother must be doing to campaign for his release. During the worst of his encounters with Rosewater, he silently repeats the names of his loved ones, calling on their strength and love to protect him and praying he will be released in time for the birth of his first child.

Seems like an odd choice for a first project by a guy known mainly for comedy. But hey, Jon Stewart’s a smart guy. At the very least, it’ll probably be way better than the story of one disabled boy’s triumph of faith set during the war-torn Balkans that Craig Kilborn directed a few years back. Some people will still swear Kilborn’s is better, but you’ll know they’re just doing it to be assholes.

Picture source: Featureflash /