Rose Leslie and Theo James to Star in 'Time Traveler's Wife' for HBO

Rose Leslie and Theo James
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Rose Leslie and Theo James

HBO's take on The Time Traveler's Wife is coming into focus.

The premium cabler has tapped Game of Thrones favorite Rose Leslie and Theo James (Divergent) to star in the adaptation from Steven Moffat.

Picked up to series in mid-2018, the drama — currently in preproduction — is based on Audrey Niffenegger's novel The Time Traveler's Wife and described as an intricate and magical love story that tells the story of Clare (Leslie) and Henry (James), and a marriage with a problem...time travel.

Here's how HBO describes Claire: fiery, clever and unstoppable — and for most of her life she’s had an amazing secret. Since she was 6, she has had an imaginary friend: a kind and funny man, sometimes old, sometimes young, who appears in the woods behind her house and tells her tales of the future. Visits from the mysterious Henry are the bright spots in the tedium of her childhood. As the years pass, and she grows into a beautiful young woman, she starts to realize her friend is not imaginary — he’s a time traveler, visiting from the future. And he’s not just from any old future — he’s from her future. Clare has a literal date with destiny. One day she’s going to meet a young man called Henry DeTamble — whom she’ll know very well but who won’t recognize her at all — and she will become the time traveler’s wife.

James' Henry DeTamble has been a time traveler since he was 8. It’s not a superpower, it’s a condition — he can’t help it. Sometimes, when Henry is stressed or worried — and sometimes for no reason at all — he loses his grip on the current moment and falls naked into the past or the future. One minute he’s making breakfast, the next he’s naked at a hoedown in 1973. He can be stuck there for minutes or months, he never knows. His life is a roller coaster of constant danger and white-knuckle survival. Until one day he meets a beautiful redhead in the library where he works. Her name is Clare Abshire and though he’s never seen her before, she claims to have known him all her life. Finally, his curse has given him something good — and Clare and Henry are about to have the time of their lives.

The drama, which landed at the premium cabler after a multiple-outlet bidding war, is being adapted by Moffat (Sherlock, Doctor Who). Moffat will pen the script and exec produce alongside Sue Vertue and Brian Minchin. The series hails from Warner Bros. Television and Hartswood Films, the latter serving as the production company jointly run by Moffat and his TV-producing wife, Vertue.

The Time Traveler's Wife was previously adapted for the big screen in 2009 with stars Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, and directed by Robert Schwentke. New Line, a division of Warner Bros., produced the release and maintained rights to the property. The big-screen Time Traveler's Wife grossed more than $100 million worldwide on a budget of $39 million.

In addition to Game of Thrones, Leslie's credits include Paramount+'s The Good Fight. She's repped by Hamilton Hodell in the U.K., UTA and Peikoff Mahan. James' credits include the Divergent franchise, How It Ends, Castlevania and Golden Boy. He's repped by UTA, the U.K.'s Markham Froggatt and Sloane Offer.