Even before Audrey Niffenegger’s novel “The Time Traveler’s Wife” hit shelves in the autumn of 2003, it was destined for the big screen: Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema picked up the book’s film and television rights before the eventual bestseller and award winner was published. A film adaptation of the romance, starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana, was released in 2009 (making over $100 million at the worldwide box office in the process).
More than a decade later, the supernatural drama (which, of course, follows the story of a time traveler and his wife) is returning, this time in the form of an HBO series starring Rose Leslie and Theo James in the roles originated by McAdams and Bana 13 years ago. Neither of the original stars is involved in this iteration. The series’ first season will feature six episodes, created by TV regular Steven Moffat (“Doctor Who”) and directed by “Game of Thrones” Emmy winner David Nutter.
For McAdams, currently stumping for her latest big-screen turn in this week’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” the series offers a number of appealing elements. When asked about the new show, McAdams told IndieWire that she is “absolutely” excited to see it.
“Adapting a book is always hard, and that was one of my favorite books, and it was always so painful to have to let so many things go because you had to just cram it all into an hour and a half or whatever it was,” she said. “I love that it’s being expanded. I think that the book lends itself well to that. And Rose Leslie, [who is] playing Claire, I think she’s phenomenal.”
The actress is also excited about the possibility of watching a story she loves without the added pressure of seeing herself on screen, something she mostly avoids. McAdams said she feels secure that the series will offer her — and fans of both the book and the film — “a great viewing experience.”
“I look forward to seeing it,” McAdams said. “It’s, again, a story I love, so I can never really watch enough. I have a hard time watching my own films sometimes. So I’m not watching them over and over again, but I would love to watch this one.”
“The Time Traveler’s Wife” will premiere on HBO on May 15.