Jon Stewart taking summer break from 'Daily Show' to direct serious film

Jon Stewart won’t be sitting at his “Daily Show” desk this summer.

The comedian, who hosts the late-night spoof news show, will be taking at 12-week break from TV this summer to try his hand at directing. In his absence, John Oliver is set guest-host the show, according to a press release issued by Comedy Central.

The break will give Stewart the opportunity to direct “Rosewater,” a serious film he wrote based on the book “Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival.”

The book, by Maziar Bahari and Aimee Molloy, tells the true story of Bahari’s experience when he was detained in an Iranian prison on suspicion of being a spy. He was kept in Iran shortly after being interviewed by “Daily Show” correspondent Jason Jones in 2009.

The film will be a major gear shift for Stewart, who is almost synonymous with late-night satire. The “Daily Show” has won 18 Emmy Awards since Stewart began hosting in 1999.

“One of the reasons we are in this business is to challenge ourselves,” Stewart told the New York Times, “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.”

He told the Times the long-term project would be a big change for him.

“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.”

Oliver is currently a regular on the “Daily Show” and has worked as a writer and a correspondent for the series since 2006.  He will host the show for eight weeks, beginning in June, while Stewart works on “Rosewater,” and the other four weeks will overlap with the show’s usual summer hiatus.

A rep for Jon Stewart did not immediately return FOX 411’s request for comment.

More On This...