While Stewart is known for his humor, taking on a geopolitical hot button issue film like this is in keeping with how he has made his show an important part of the conversation on political matters. He quietly optioned the book through his Busboy Productions banner, and had a personal stake in the story: After Bahari was accused of spying, one of the items used against him was an appearance he made on The Daily Show. I can’t remember when a well established daily talk show host has taken a hiatus like this to pursue a passion project.
Stewart has acted in numerous films over the years, and hosted the Oscars in 2008; Rosewater marks his first time writing and directing a feature.
Rich Klubeck of UTA sold the entire package to OddLot. ICM’s Ron Bernstein sold the book to Stewart quietly a year ago. James Dixon manages Stewart.