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The Time Traveler's Wife is a 2009 film based on Audrey Niffenegger's 2003 novel of the same name. The film is directed by Robert Schwentke and stars Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams.

Filming began in September 2007, originally in anticipation of a fall 2008 release. The film's release was postponed with initially no official explanation from the studio. McAdams later noted that the delay was due to reshoots that could not be completed until the season at their outdoor location matched previously filmed footage, and Bana had regrown his hair following his work on the 2009 film Star Trek. The film was released in theaters on August 14, 2009.


Based on the premise of The Time Traveler's Wife, a Chicago librarian (Bana) has a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel randomly. Though he often disappears from her life for long periods of time, he tries to build a romantic relationship with Clare Abshire, an artist (McAdams).

Henry, the librarian, meets his future wife Clare when she is only six years old. Chronologically, however, he meets her for the first time when Clare is an adult but Henry is only twenty-eight. At that point Clare has known Henry all of her adult life. Because the time jumps are random and often leave Henry with no money or clothing, he becomes skilled at crime. The police build a profile on him, but they are never able to hold him for long.


  • Eric Bana as Henry DeTamble, a Chicago librarian
  • Rachel McAdams as Clare DeTamble (née Abshire), an artist
  • Ron Livingston as Gomez, Clare and Henry's friend and Charisse's boyfriend
  • Jane McLean as Charisse, Clare's best friend and roommate.
  • Stephen Tobolowsky as Dr. David Kendrick
  • Arliss Howard as Richard DeTamble, Henry's father
  • Brooklynn Proulx as Young Clare Abshire (6&8)
  • Alex Ferris as Young Henry DeTamble (six years old)
  • Hailey McCann (9&10) and Tatum McCann (4&5) as Alba DeTamble, Henry and Clare's daughter
  • Michelle Nolden as Annette DeTamble, Henry's mother
  • Maggie Castle as Alicia Abshire, Clare's younger sister
  • Fiona Reid as Lucille Abshire, Clare's mother
  • Philip Craig as Philip Abshire, Clare's father
  • Brian Bisson as Mark Abshire, Clare's brother


The film rights for Audrey Niffenegger's 2003 novel The Time Traveler's Wife were optioned by Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt's production company Plan B Entertainment, in association with New Line Cinema, before her work was even published. Niffenegger stated in an interview that she had thoughts of how a film version of the book would appear, as she was writing the book. When asked about the prospect of her novel being turned into a film, Niffenegger said, "I've got my little movie that runs in my head. And I'm kind of afraid that will be changed or wiped out by what somebody else might do with it. And it is sort of thrilling and creepy, because now the characters have an existence apart from me."

In September 2003, the studio hired screenwriter Jeremy Leven to write an adapted screenplay of the novel. Directors Steven Spielberg and David Fincher briefly expressed interest in the project, though no negotiations took place. In March 2005, director Gus Van Sant entered negotiations with the studio to helm the project. The negotiations did not hold, and in November 2006, director Robert Schwentke was instead hired to take over the project.

In January 2007, New Line hired screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin to rewrite Leven's script. Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams were cast in April 2007. Filming began in Torontomarker on September 10, 2007. It was also shot in Hamilton, Ontariomarker. The film was originally planned for a fall 2008 release, but it was postponed with no official explanation from the studio. When asked about the delay, McAdams said, "We wound up doing a reshoot, and Eric was the holdup ... He had to shave his head for a different role, for Star Trek, I think. ...We did an additional scene in the meadow, so we were also waiting on the meadow to look the way it did [the first time we shot]. So we were waiting on the seasons. Basically we were waiting on nature and Eric's hair." The film was released by Warner Brothers on August 14, 2009.


The score to The Time Traveler's Wife was composed by Mychael Danna, who recorded his score with the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Ocean Way Studios during the fall of 2008.The trailer featured the song "Broken" by Lifehouse, which is within in the film and the promotional music video. A television commercial for the film featured the song "Show Me What I'm Looking For" by Carolina Liar, although it wasn't included within the soundtrack. The film also features a cover of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" performed by Canadian indie rock band Broken Social Scene.

The official motion picture soundtrack was released on August 11, 2009 and available to download from Amazon (MP3 format) or iTunes (MPEG-4 format) by New Line Records, along with a digital booklet in portable document format which summarizes the credits of the album along with screenshots and other promotional images of the film. No compact disc version is available in any location.

The Time Traveler's Wife (Music from the Motion Picture)

  1. "Es Ist Ein Ros" 0:51
  2. "I'm You Henry" – 2:30
  3. "Meadow" – 3:19
  4. "How Does It Feel?" – 1:59
  5. "Diary" – 1:21
  6. "Train" – 1:43
  7. "I Don't Feel Alone Anymore" – 2:22
  8. "Love Will Tear Us Apart" - Performed by Broken Social Scene – 4:44
  9. "Married To Me" – 1:04
  10. "Home" – 1:36
  11. "Do You Know When?" – 2:09
  12. "Testing" – 1:04
  13. "Alba" – 2:33
  14. "I Never Had A Choice" – 2:58
  15. "Who Would Want That" – 2:29
  16. "I Left Him Sleeping" – 1:30
  17. "It's A Girl" – 2:58
  18. "Five Years" – 2:03
  19. "Try To Stay" – 1:40
  20. "New Year's Eve" 1:55
  21. "No Tracks In The Snow" – 1:48
  22. "See You Again" – 5:42
  23. "Broken" - Performed by Lifehouse – 4:47

Songs appearing in the film not included with the release of the soundtrack


The film has received decidedly mixed reviews from critics. Based on 128 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, The Time Traveler's Wife has a 35% approval rating from critics, with an average score of 5/10. Another review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 45%, based on 29 reviews.

The film opened third behind District 9 and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, grossing $19.2 million on its opening weekend. Grossing over $79,000,000 worldwide (over $63,000,000 of which was grossed in the United States) on a $39,000,000 budget, the film was a financial success.

Home media

The DVD and Blu-ray will be available on February 9, 2010. DVD and Blu-ray will have the film in widescreen.


  1. Ellis, Suzanne (June 3, 2008) Actress Michelle Nolden Recalls 'Time Travelling' With Eric Bana, Toronto television station
  2. Dave McNary, "Rubin rewriting 'Time'", Variety (January 2, 2007). Retrieved May 4, 2009.
  3. James Cowan, "Niffenegger's first book, and it's about time", National Post (December 3, 2003). LexisNexis (subscription required). Retrieved April 25, 2009.
  4. Carl DiOrio, "Warners moves up 'Traveler's", The Hollywood Reporter (March 16, 2009). Retrieved May 4, 2009.

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