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'The Time Traveler’s Wife': New trailer for HBO series finds Theo James meeting himeself

The HBO series is an adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger's bestselling novel.

By Nivea Serrao
Theo James in The Time Traveler's Wife

Finding love can be hard enough, without chrono-temporal displacement (aka time travel) thrown into the mix! But as HBO's upcoming adaptation of The Time Traveler's Wife will soon prove, even unfortunate timey-wimey shenanigans can't stand in the way of true love.

Granted, there's a lot to overcome, considering one half of the central pairing (Henry DeTamble, played by Divergent's Theo James) is unable to control his ability to slip back and forth in time, leaving his wife (Claire Abshire, played by Game of Thrones' Rose Leslie) constantly waiting for him during various moments of their life, only to reappear during others. 

Of course, showrunner Steven Moffat is more than game when it comes to adapting these elements of author Audrey Niffenegger's bestselling novel, seeing as he served as showrunner for the British sci-fi phenomenon Doctor Who for multiple seasons, even writing a 50th anniversary special that saw two iterations of the titular character pair up for an adventure. 

And as the trailer below proves, that's a skill that'll come in handy over the course of the six-episode HBO series. Henry will not only encounter a younger version of himself, but also an older version, and one that is roughly the same age; he's often pulled into moments from his own life — and later on, that of his future (and current) wife, Claire's. 

Check out the new trailer:

However, unlike classic time travelers across television and film, Henry not only has no time machine (or any control over this ability), but he's also unable to bring anyone or anything back and forth with him. That includes the very clothes he's wearing, which no doubt leads to awkward and possibly dangerous situations as he jumps around his and Claire's timelines.

"Most love stories end with the altar or the divorce, and this is scrambling it up, showing that love is inextricably linked to loss," said Moffat at a TCA panel earlier this year. "It makes the common interesting, thrilling, with tension and tragedy as well as joy. And I do love a travel story, as my career would suggest. But this is not about time travel, it's merely a device. It’s about love."

(Fun fact: Moffat was actually inspired by the novel years ago, when he wrote his Hugo Award-winning Doctor Who episode, "The Girl in the Fireplace," which saw the Tenth Doctor visit a young French woman at various points in her life, with her even falling in love with him over the course of the episode.) 

Of course, as most fans will know, this isn't the first time Niffenegger's novel has been adapted for the screen. A 2009 feature film saw Rachel McAdams (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness) and Eric Bana (Hulk) step into the roles of Claire and Henry, with Robert Schwentke directing the project. While the film received mixed-to-negative reviews, it went on to make over $100 million worldwide against a budget of $39 million.

The cast for the upcoming HBO show includes Desmin Borges (Utopia) and Natasha Lopez (Law & Order: SVU). Moffat is also known for co-creating Sherlock (the series that launched Doctor Strange star and future SNL host Benedict Cumberbatch's career) and serves as executive producer alongside Sue Vertue, Brian Minchin, Joseph E. Iberti, and David Nutter.

The Time Traveler's Wife will pop onto HBO Max on May 15.