A hallmark of the romance genre is that two people fall in love, but something keeps them apart that prevents the “happily ever after.” From the misunderstandings of Bridgerton to star-crossed messages of Romeo & Juliet to the terminal illnesses of The Fault In Our Stars, there’s always something. But what if that terminal illness was something more complicated, such as being unstuck in time? That’s the premise of the hit novel The Time Traveler’s Wife, the adaptation of which is heading to HBO.
Written by Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife was published in 2003 but didn’t hit it big until it was endorsed on The Today Show the following year. The novel became one of Amazon’s most sold books of the early aughts and spawned a 2009 feature film starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams.
It also inspired Steven Moffat, a writer of TV time travel stories on the newly rebooted Doctor Who series. Known for his relationship-centric series like Coupling, he wrote an episode that blended the two as part of the long-standing franchise. “The Girl In The Fireplace” became one of the show’s critically acclaimed episodes.
But Moffat wasn’t done with his obsession with the story. In 2018, it was announced HBO had given a straight-to-series order for a TV adaptation, penned by Moffat and executive produced by Niffenegger, after winning it over other outlets.
Here’s what else to know about the project.
The Time Traveler's Wife Trailer
Despite HBO winning the series, the production of The Time Traveler’s Wife was delayed. Moffat had to finish his Dracula series first, and then the 2020 Hollywood shutdown and U.K. lockdowns hit. Filming didn’t start until mid-2021 and finished that fall.
The first trailer for the series arrived on March 15, 2022, giving fans a look at the brand-new series, which already looks better than the 2009 film.
The second trailer, which arrived on April 21, gave a far more in-depth look at the life of a time traveler trying to hold down a long-term relationship.
The Time Traveler's Wife Cast
In February 2021, The Hollywood Reporter announced the titular Clare Abshire and her unstuck-in-time husband, Henry DeTamble, would be played by Rose Leslie and Theo James. Leslie is familiar to PBS and HBO viewers as Gwen Dawson in Downton Abbey and Ygritte in Game of Thrones. James is known to mainstream American viewers from The Divergent Series and Underworld, but the role came on the heels of his starring turn as the romantic lead in Sanditon on PBS.
In April 2021, HBO added Desmin Borges (You’re the Worst) and Natasha Lopez (Runner Runner) to the cast. Borges was cast as Gomez, the third leg in the love triangle, as Clare’s BFF, who is secretly in love with her. Lopez plays Charisse, Clare’s roommate, Gomez’s girlfriend, and the person who is determined to get to the bottom of Henry’s mystery.
The rest of the cast was revealed in June 2021. That includes Caitlin Shorey, Everleigh McDonell (Good Girls), Michael Park (Stranger Things), Jaime Ray Newman (Little Fires Everywhere), Taylor Richardson (Rise), Peter Graham (Will & Grace), Brian Altemus (Grand Army), Jason David (NOS4A2), Kate Siegel (The Haunting of Hill House), Josh Stamberg, (WandaVision), Chelsea Frei (The Moodys), Marcia DeBonis (Almost Family) Will Brill (The OA) and Spencer House (Teenage Bounty Hunters).
The Time Traveler's Wife Plot
The six-part series is an intricate and magical love story and tells the tale of Clare and Henry and a marriage with a problem… time travel.
The Time Traveler's Wife Release Date
The Time Traveler’s Wife premieres May 15, 2022, on HBO Max.