“It’s not a superpower, it’s what’s wrong with me,” Theo James pleads in the trailer for “The Time Traveler’s Wife.”
The six-episode HBO series, premiering in May 2022, stars James as Henry DeTamble, a man plagued with the ability to go back in time. While it is a metaphysical scientific breakthrough, the skill doesn’t bode well for Henry’s marriage to Clare Abshire (Rose Leslie), who is left for a quite literally absentee husband at times.
“He’s just a pile of clothes,” Clare explains during a confessional after Henry has disappeared back in time, out of his own control and leaving the kitchen sink running. “I married a time traveler. It’s complicated,” Clare sums up.
Adapted by former “Doctor Who” showrunner Steven Moffat from Audrey Niffenegger’s bestselling novel, “The Time Traveler’s Wife” is directed by David Nutter. Desmin Borges and Natasha Lopez also co-star.
The novel was also adapted for the big screen in 2009 with Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams leading the love story. The film was a reasonable box office success, earning just over $101 million at the U.S. box office, and remains something of a cult favorite. Now, with Leslie making her return to HBO after “Game of Thrones” and before James appears on Season 2 of “The White Lotus,” the latest clock-challenging adaptation brings the story to a new generation.
“We can tell the whole story, the movie was a quite intelligently abbreviated version but abbreviating it you miss all the detail and complexity and make it all about the time travel and not about the love story,” writer Moffat said during HBO’s virtual TCA press day February 15, as reported by Deadline. “What is thrilling of the interaction of time travel and a love story here, is it makes the most common phenomenon of a completely happy marriage, interesting again.”
Moffat continued, “Love stories, or love movies, tend to end at the altar. We never do the bit where people are perfectly happy for decades because it seems like a dramatic thing. By scrambling it all up and constantly reminding you that love is inextricably linked to loss, which is a cheery thought, you make this very common phenomenon of a happy marriage, thrilling and full of attention and tragedy.”
“The Time Traveler’s Wife” premieres on HBO and HBO Max in May 2022.