The Daily Show host Jon Stewart will be taking a 12-week leave of absence from his Comedy Central satirical news show this summer to direct Rosewood, an adaptation of journalist Maziar Bahari’s account of his own imprisonment in an Iranian prison for 118 days for being a suspected spy, Then They Came For Me. Stewart has already written the screenplay for the film.
Daily Show correspondent John Oliver will fill in as the show’s host for eight of the weeks that Stewart will be working on the film. The balance of the time will apparently be filled with repeats.
Stewart first announced that he had purchased the rights to Bahari’s book back in a Daily Show interview he did with the author in June 2011.
Bahari was arrested in 2009 when he arrived in Iran to cover the then-current election protests and incarcerated in the country’s notorious Evin prison. He was held for nearly three months, 107 days of which was in solitary confinement. He was also interrogated on numerous occasions by a man whom he called Rosewater, after the scent he exuded.
In addition to Stewart being impressed with Bahari’s story enough to want to make the film, there is another, far weirder, Daily Show connection. Part of the “evidence” that his interrogator presented that Bahari was a spy was a clip from the satirical news show in which correspondent Jason Jones interviewed Bahari while dressed in a stereotypical spy fashion! Of course, Bahari tried to explain that Jones couldn’t be a real spy as a real spy would never have consented to have their discussion broadcast on national television!
Here are both the original 2009 interview that Bahari did that became the basis for the suspicion that he was a spy and the 2011 interview where Stewart states that he is working with Bahari on the film adaptation of the book.