Jon Stewart is trading in comedy for drama, and will take a hiatus from his "Daily Show" hosting duties this summer to film his feature directorial debut.

Deadline reports that the Comedy Central stalwart will take off 12 weeks from "The Daily Show" to shoot "Rosewater," an adaptation of the book "Then They Came For Me: A Family's Story Of Love, Captivity And Survival." Written in 2011 by journalist Maziar Bahari, the book details Bahari's 118 days in an Iranian prison in 2009, after he was arrested while covering Iran's presidential elections.

Bahari, who only expected to be gone for one week, left behind a pregnant fiancee in London. He was repeatedly interrogated by a man he could identify by only one feature: the smell of rosewater.

"I am a television person who is accustomed to having a thought at 10 a.m. and having it out there at 6:30 p.m. and moving on, so this is a little scary, yes," Stewart told the New York Times' Brook Barnes. "But one of the reasons we are in this business is to challenge ourselves," he continued, "and I really connected to Maziar's story. It's a personal story but one with universal appeal about what it means to be free."

In addition to directing, Stewart also wrote the film's script, another first for the showbiz veteran. He's previously acted in many films, including "Big Daddy" and "Death to Smoochy," and has written and produced numerous episodes of "The Daily Show." He hosted the Oscars in 2008.

One interesting twist to Stewart and Bahari's connection is that Bahari taped an interview for a "Daily Show" segment just prior to his June 2009 arrest. The Iranian government reportedly used Bahari's participation in that interview as evidence of him acting as a spy.

For more details about "Rosewater," and who will fill Stewart's "Daily Show" seat while he's filming the movie, check out Deadline's coverage.

[via Deadline and NYT]
categories Movies