Jon Stewart has been pretty much wholly absent from the pop culture discussion since he departed The Daily Show in 2015, but that’s about to change. The comedian, host, and filmmaker is lining up his second directorial project, a political satire called Irresistible, and he’s putting a friendly face in front of the camera. Per Variety, Stewart is set to direct Irresistible based on an original idea of his own, and Daily Show alum Steve Carell is the top choice to star. Plot details are wholly under wraps and the film hasn’t yet secured financing, but Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment is producing alongside Stewart and the project is gearing up to secure financing and distribution so it can move forward.
Stewart made his directorial debut in 2014 with Rosewater, based on an ordeal involving real-life journalist Maziar Bahari who was detained by Iranian forces and whose appearance on The Daily Show was used as evidence against him as they tried to prove he was a spy. That film was solid, but felt more like Stewart atoning for something by bringing Bahari’s story to light. It didn’t feel as though Stewart had the itch to suddenly become a prolific filmmaker, so it was unclear if he’d ever get back in the director’s chair again. Side note: It was during Stewart’s leave of absence to shoot Rosewater that John Oliver filled in as Daily Show host, which led to HBO offering him his own series, and now Last Week Tonight consistently wins all the Emmys.
After Stewart left The Daily Show he signed a deal with HBO to create content, and promises were made that he’d have something on the air by the 2016 presidential election. That never happened, and while Stewart developed an ambitious animated series at the network that would cover topical current events, the idea was eventually scrapped.
In the meantime, Stewart has been quietly working on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, on which he’s listed as an executive producer. During Colbert’s first few years on the air, in which he struggled to find his voice, Stewart was a frequent presence, helping to find hone the show’s vision. He even came on air a few times, most strikingly in the wake of the presidential election.
But now it appears Stewart is looking to get back into the feature film realm with a very different kind of film, and putting Carell in the lead role is a swell idea. We should learn more about this project soon.