Jon Stewart interviewed Maziar Bahari after unwittingly contributing to his arrest and detainment in an Iranian prison.
Jon Stewart will take a twelve week hiatus from the Daily Show With Jon Stewart (will that name take a hiatus too?) to direct a film about the strange and unfortunate trial of Maziar Bahari. While he is gone, Daily Show correspondent John Oliver will take the role of host.
Stewart's film will be a drama called "Rosewater." It is based on a 2011 book by Bahari and Aimee Molloy called “Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival.” Bahari's story unwittingly involved Stewart himself. Bahari participated in a Daily Show sketch involving correspondent Jason Jones, who played a spy. The Iranian government took the sketch seriously, and used it as evidence against Bahari, who they jailed for four months on accusations of trying to overthrow the government.
“You can imagine how upset we were,” Mr. Stewart said, “and I struck up a friendship with him afterward.”
Stewart 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.
Rosewater will be produced by Stewart, Scott Rudin, and Hyatt heiress Gigi Pritzker.