Adapted by former Dr. Who head writer and Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat, The Time Traveler’s Wife tells the intricate love story of Clare (Leslie) and Henry (James), and a marriage with a problem… time travel.
The series marks Game of Thrones alumna’s Leslie return to HBO. Her Claire Abshire is fiery, clever and unstoppable — and for most of her life she’s had an amazing secret. Since she was 6 years old, Clare has had an imaginary friend: a kind and funny man, sometimes old, sometimes young, who appears in the woods behind her house and tells her tales of the future. Visits from the mysterious Henry are the bright spots in the tedium of her childhood. As the years pass and she grows into a beautiful young woman, she starts to realize her friend is not imaginary — he’s a time traveler, visiting from the future. And he’s not just from any old future, he’s from her future. Clare has a literal date with destiny. One day she’s going to meet a young man called Henry DeTamble, whom she’ll know very well but who won’t recognize her at all, and she will become the time traveler’s wife.
James’s Henry DeTamble also has a problem. Since he was 8 years old, he’s been time traveler. It’s not a superpower, it’s a condition; he can’t help it. Sometimes, when Henry is stressed or worried — and sometimes for no reason at all — he loses his grip on the current moment and falls naked into the past or the future. One minute he’s making breakfast, the next he’s naked at a hoedown in 1973. He can be stuck there for minutes or months, he never knows. His life is a rollercoaster of constant danger and white-knuckle survival. Until one day he meets a beautiful redhead in the library where he works. Her name is Clare Abshire, and although he’s never seen her before, she claims to have known him all her life. Finally his curse has given him something good, and Clare and Henry are about to have the time of their lives.
Moffat, Sue Vertue and Brian Minchin executive produce through their Hartswood Films. The company produces in association with Warner Bros. Television, which has rights to the title. Warner Bros.’ New Line division was behind the 2009 feature adaptation of the book that starred Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana. The series is currently in pre-production.
The Time Traveler’s Wife has been a priority project for HBO, which landed it in 2018 in a highly competitive situation with a straight-to-series order.
“I read Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife many years ago, and I fell in love with it. In fact, I wrote a Doctor Who episode called ‘The Girl in the Fireplace’ as a direct response to it,” Moffat said at the time of the series’ sale to HBO. “When, in her next novel, Audrey had a character watching that very episode, I realized she was probably on to me. All these years later, the chance to adapt the novel itself, is a dream come true. The brave new world of long form television is now ready for this kind of depth and complexity. It’s a story of happy ever after – but not necessarily in that order.”
Niffenegger’s 2003 novel tells of the story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who has a genetic disorder that makes him travel involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist who falls in love with him and has to deal with his condition. Henry and Clare’s passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap.
Leslie, who played Ygritte on Game of Thrones, recently starred in CBS All Access’ The Good Fight and previously recurred on Downton Abbey. She next will be seen in the feature Death on the Nile. Leslie is repped by Hamilton Hodell, UTA, Anonymous Content and Peikoff Mahan.
Divergent franchise star James’ recent TV series credits include Castlevania and Sandition. He is repped by UTA in the U.S., Markham, Froggatt and Irwin in UK and Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern.
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