Jon Stewart Recaps the Story Behind 'Rosewater' Filming this Summer
If you haven't heard yet, Jon Stewart is directing a movie. He's about to take a three-month long leave of absence from "The Daily Show" to spend a summer in the Middle East shooting the film, titled Rosewater. We first heard about the project earlier this year, and reported the follow-up news that Stewart had cast Gael Garcia Bernal to star in the lead role. Last night (Thursday, June 6th) was Stewart's last show before the break, and he spent most of it explaining the reasons behind why he's doing this. It all began with a segment from their show in 2009 with Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari in it, right before he went to jail.
The show included a replaying of the segment from Jason Jones, titled Behind the Veil - Minarets of Menace (seen below), which was where Maziar Bahari first appeared to answer questions about the Iranian opinion on Americans. He was then thrown in prison for 118 days where he was brutally interrogated by a man who smelled of rosewater, and was asked about being in contact with an American spy. That "spy" was actually just Jason Jones from "The Daily Show" - and he's Canadian! Stewart then goes on to explain how he met with Bahari after his book (and interviewed him on the show in 2011) and came up with the idea for this movie. Now, four years later, things are ready to go and they're about to start shooting the film this summer.
Here's the original half of Thursday's show, where Jon replays the 2009 Jason Jones piece that started it all.
From that piece to hearing about how he went to prison to later hearing the rest of the story, it's fascinating, and obviously this is something that would make for an interesting movie. I don't think it's going to be that funny, but with Stewart you never know. He's taking a very serious tone explaining what's going on, but does slip in a few jokes (like about great literature and movies). Honestly, it's just refreshing to hear Jon Stewart himself explain everything beforehand about why he's going to direct a film and why it's this story:
Rosewater is being produced and directed by Jon Stewart, making his feature directing debut. The screenplay was written by Stewart based on Maziar Bahari's book Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival. Gigi Pritzker at Odd Lot Entertainment and Scott Rudin will also be producing. Production is set to start in shooting at an undisclosed location in the Middle East this summer. We'll be following this project closely, and are expecting the film to show up at a festival first, before a 2014 premiere. For more on the story behind journalist Maziar Bahari, read his Wiki or watch his "Daily Show" interview. On the show the night before, Stewart said the story was "calling to him"; it's his passion project.