Jon Stewart is returning to skewer politicians, kind of. The former host of "The Daily Show" is set to direct the political satire "Irresistible," a film based on his own idea, reports Variety.
Another "Daily Show" alum, Steve Carell, is the "top choice" to star in the movie, although no details about the storyline are known other than its political theme.
There will inevitably be speculation that the idea is inspired by the current occupant of the White House, about whom Stewart has poured scorn during occasional appearances on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."
Stewart left "The Daily Show" in 2015 and, excepting those "Late Show" gigs, has generally kept a low profile. He did strike a deal with HBO to make an animated series in 2016, but that was later scrapped due to "difficult production deadlines." He was also seen last year in the HBO telethon "Night of Too Many Stars."
"Irresistible" will be Stewart's sophomore directing effort, following "Rosewater" in 2014. He took a sabbatical from "The Daily Show' to direct that movie, which was based on the memoir "Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival" by Maziar Bahari.
The Iranian-Canadian journalist was detained by the Iranian authorities in 2009 and Stewart's film, starring Gael García Bernal and Kim Bodnia, recreated his nightmarish time at the hands of brutal Iranian interrogators.
The film wasn't a commercial hit, though, and also received mixed reviews. Haaretz's Uri Klein, for example, noted that "Stewart's comic genius fails to translate into film excellence in his first attempt as a writer and director."
"Irresistible" is set to be produced by Brad Pitt's company, Plan B Entertainment, although there are no details on when the film will go into production.
Political satires have a patchy history at the U.S. box office, although their heyday was probably in the 1990s.
Tim Robbins received a Golden Globe nomination for "Bob Roberts" in 1992, while Warren Beatty's "Bulworth" was a flop in 1998, despite offering viewers the rare chance to see Beatty rap.
The previous year's "Wag the Dog," in which a beleaguered president dogged by a sexual scandal hires a Hollywood producer to create a fake war and bring home a "war hero," also flopped at the box office. However, critical warmth for that film has grown over the years, especially for its prescience – it was released weeks before allegations surfaced about President Bill Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.