HBO has won the bidding war for a TV adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife, from former Doctor Who showrunner and Sherlock creator Steven Moffat. Other outlets, including Amazon Studios, were in the running to acquire the series about Henry DeTamble and Clare Abshire’s nonlinear love story, according to Deadline.
The official logline from HBO is slightly tongue-in-cheek for a novel about Henry, a time traveler and librarian whose Chrono-Displacement Disorder drops him in and out of time, and artist Clare, who first meets Henry as a child and who spends the rest of her life encountering him at different ages as she progresses through time linearly:
An intricate and magical love story, adapted by Steven Moffat from the much loved novel by Audrey Niffenegger. The Time Traveler’s Wife tells the story of Clare and Henry, and a marriage with a problem… time travel.
The 2009 movie adaptation, starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana, was not incredibly well received, lacking some of the magic of the 2003 novel despite doing well enough at the box office. The same year, Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman was developing a TV adaptation of Henry and Clare’s story for ABC, but it was never picked up to series.
“I read Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife many years ago, and I fell in love with it,” Moffat said in the official announcement. “In fact, I wrote a Doctor Who episode called ‘The Girl In The Fireplace’ as a direct response to it. When, in her next novel, Audrey had a character watching that very episode, I realised 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.”
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Steven Moffat, Hartswood and WBTV on The Time Traveler’s Wife,” said Casey Bloys, president of HBO. “Steven’s passion is evident in every project he’s written and we are certain that his love and respect for this mesmerizing and textured novel will make it a quintessential HBO series.”
Hartswood Films, the production company involved with Warner Bros Television, said, “HBO is the perfect home to tell this incredible story with all the scale and space it needs, and we’re delighted to be working with Warner Bros to bring Steven’s thrilling vision of the novel to life.”
No word yet on number of episodes nor premiere date.