We’ll see what Jon Stewart‘s hiatus from The Daily Show was all about on November 7, when Open Road Films kicks off its platform rollout of his feature directorial debut Rosewater. Open Road acquired U.S. rights in May to the pic after it was show to select buyers in Cannes.
The pic is adaptation of the Maziar Bahari book Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story Of Love, Captivity And Survival. Stewart wrote the script and took a summer break from his Comedy Central show to direct it. Gael Garcia Bernal stars as Bahari. The plan unveiled today comes after Rosewater landed a Gala premiere slot at September’s Toronto Film Festival.
OddLot Entertainment fully financed the film and Stewart, Scott Rudin, and Gigi Pritzker produced with Lila Yacoub, Eli Bush and Chris McShane the executive producers.
Written by BBC journalist Maziar Bahari, the true story follows the Tehran-born journo, a Canadian citizen living in London. In June 2009, he returned to Iran to interview Mir-Hossein Moussavi, who was the prime challenger to controversial incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As Moussavi’s supporters rose up to protest Ahmadinejad’s victory declaration hours before the polls closed on election day, Bahari endured great personal risk by submitting camera footage of the unfolding street riots to the BBC. Bahari was soon arrested by Revolutionary Guard police, led by a man identifying himself only as “Rosewater,” who proceeded to torture and interrogate the journalist over the next 118 days. Iranian authorities released Bahari on $300,000 bail and the promise he would act as a spy for the government.
Stewart and The Daily Show covered Bahari’s saga nightly and had the journalist appear on the show to talk about his ordeal once he was released from prison.