Jon Stewart taking summer off from ‘Daily Show’ to focus on directorial debut

Get ready for “The Daily Show Without Jon Stewart” — at least for a few months this summer.

The longtime host has announced that he’ll take a 12-week hiatus from the Comedy Central news spoof show in order to work on a more serious endeavor — making his directorial film debut, the fact-based drama “Rosewater.”

The film is based on Maziar Bahari and Aimee Molloy’s 2011 book “And Then They Came For Me: A Family”s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival.” Stewart will pen the screenplay.

“And Then They Came For Me” will depict the true story of Canadian-Iranian journalist Bahari, who was accused of planning to overthrow the Iranian government, and arrested for four months in 2009. Months before his capture, Bahari appeared in a “Daily Show” sketch, in which correspondent Jason Jones pretended to be a spy. Bahari’s captors even used some of the footage against him.

“You can imagine how upset we were,” Stewart told The New York Times, “and I struck up a friendship with him afterward.”

It’s a serious topic, but Stewart’s trademark humor won’t be completely absent from the film. “One of the things that appealed to me about the story is that it does have lighter moments,” Stewart added. “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.”

Scott Rudin and Gigi Pritzker will produce “Rosewater,” alongside Stewart.

The film is expected to start shooting in June. There have been no casting announcements as of yet.  

“Daily Show” regular John Oliver will act as guest host while Stewart is away. He’s also the star of Comedy Central’s “John Oliver”s New York Stand-Up Show,” which aired its third season last summer.