‘Time Traveler’s Wife’: HBO Sets Drama Series Starring Theo James and Rose Leslie for Spring

The first season of the series, from executive producer Steven Moffat, will span six episodes

Theo James as Henry and Rose Leslie as Clare in "The Time Traveler's Wife" (HBO)
Theo James as Henry and Rose Leslie as Clare in "The Time Traveler's Wife" (HBO)

HBO dropped a first look at its upcoming drama series “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” releasing new images Tuesday and announcing the show is coming this spring.

The series — an adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger’s novel — stars “Divergent” actor Theo James as the time traveling Henry DeTamble, and “Game of Thrones” alum Rose Leslie as his wife Clare Abshire.

The six-episode season is being billed by the cable network as “an intricate and magical love story,” adapted by executive producer Steven Moffat. David Nutter, who directed the “GoT” pilot, directed the series. The show follows Claire and Henry whose marriage is plagued by the problem of time travel.

On Tuesday’s HBO panel for the show as part of the Television Critics Association Winter Tour, Nutter addressed a casting question from TheWrap, and said when he read the script, he zeroed in on fellow “Game of Thrones” alum Rose Leslie.

Theo James as Henry and Rose Leslie as Clare in "The Time Traveler's Wife" (HBO)
Theo James as Henry and Rose Leslie as Clare in “The Time Traveler’s Wife” (HBO)

“I think Steven [Moffat, EP] has impeccable taste, which is so wonderful to learn from, but I have to say … when I read the first 23 pages of the script there was only about one redhead that I knew that could’ve played this role,” Nutter said of Leslie. “And it was one that I’d worked with before.”

As for James, Nutter said he spotted his work on the CBS 2013 series “Golden Boy” and had kept him in mind ever since, reaching out when the Henry role came up.

Alongside James and Leslie, the cast includes Desmin Borges as Gomez and Natasha Lopez as Charisse. 

The series is an HBO and Warner Bros. Television production. Moffat executive produces alongside Sue Vertue and Brian Minchin through Hartswood Films; Joseph E. Iberti; and David Nutter.

Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams starred together in the big screen adaptation of the story in 2009.

Theo James in "The Time Traveler's Wife" (HBO)
Theo James in “The Time Traveler’s Wife” (HBO)

During the panel, the producers and actors were asked by a reporter about the difference in Claire and Henry’s ages — she meets him when she’s a child, and he’s an adult — and how they got to a point where they were OK with the characters’ romance “or if he was grooming her?”

“In terms of the age difference, there is never any suggestion at any point in the book, in the movie, in our version, that there’s anything other than the fact that Henry is in love with the grown up version of Claire,” executive producer Steven Moffatt said, insisting this is a grown-ups love story, and noting Henry treats child-aged Claire as a child.

Rose Leslie in "The Time Traveler's Wife" (HBO)
Rose Leslie in “The Time Traveler’s Wife” (HBO)

During the panel, Moffat also addressed making the book into a series, and said the “great advantage of a miniseries is we can do the whole story.” He also said that when he first read the book, it prompted him to craft an episode of his former show, “Doctor Who,” inspired by “The Time Traveler’s Wife” — “The Girl in the Fireplace.”

He also said he wanted to explore the story because “it makes the most common phenomenon of a completely happy marriage interesting again.”