Open Road Films announced they picked up the U.S. distribution rights to Jon Stewart’s Rosewater, the political drama that marks the directorial debut for the host of “The Daily Show.” Gael Garcia Bernal stars in this real-life drama as Maziar Bahari, the BBC journalist who was held as a prisoner by the Iranian government in 2009. Rosewater is an adaptation of Bahari’s New York Times best-selling memoir Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival. The film will chronicle Bahari’s coverage of an election protest and his subsequent interrogation and torture during his 107 days in solitary confinement.
Per Variety “Stewart’s involvement with Bahari’s story began in 2009, when interrogators cited a ‘Daily Show’ interview that Bahari participated in as evidence of his connection to Western spies. Stewart and “The Daily Show” covered Bahari’s story and had journalist appear on the show once he was released from prison.
When Stewart took three months off “The Daily Show” to direct the film there was a lot of grumbling about the host being off-air for so long, but the story quickly changed from his absence to the film becoming one of this winter’s more anticipated releases. With the casting of Gael Garcia Bernal, a large distributor backing the film and a lot of prestige going in its favor into a fall release, Rosewater could potentially see some awards play.
Rosewater currently has no release date. Open Road Films is planning a fall release for the film.