HBO is throwing around the idea of filming a new television series in South Haven based on the book “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” which is a love story based in South Haven.
The book was the first novel written by Audrey Niffenegger in 2003. Niffenegger was born in South Haven. It was made into a Hollywood film in 2009 and starred Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams and Ron Livingston.
Amy O'Sullivan, a Jaqua Realtors associate broker, said, “When I heard it was being made into a movie I was really excited for the local South Haven details, but unfortunately none of that made the big screen.”
Those absent details might be featured on the big screen this time around. HBO is in the early stages of creating a TV series about the romance. Show representatives said they're considering South Haven as a film location.
O'Sullivan said, “In the book there are a lot of details about street names, Lake Michigan obviously plays a role. So, all that is here already, so why would they want to go somewhere else and shoot it in a town that doesn't already have it naturally.”
She has been in real estate for 20 years and said location scouts asked her to find a historic home with a meadow, like in the book. One of the many places O'Sullivan suggested was the Monroe Manor Inn.
O’Sullivan said, “We had to find a house that still maintained a lot of the property around it and this is one of them and there are few others that I reached out to them about and they seemed very interested.”
Nancy Vanstrein, who owns the Monroe Manor Inn, said, “I happened to read that book about 10 years ago. And in reading that book I pictured the girl in the story on the grounds here.”
The Monroe Manor Inn was built in 1884 and belonged to a member of South Haven’s founding family. It's now a bed and breakfast, but Vanstrein says it still embodies her vision of “The Time Traveler’s Wife.”
“I think it would be absolute perfect spot for it. I can just see that happening.” She said, “The atmosphere, the ambiance of the property.”
O’Sullivan mentioned South Haven has been featured in Hollywood many times before.
She said, “You’d be surprised South Haven attracts a lot of film makers from all over. We can be the east coast, we can look like the west coast, we have a lot of versatility that way.”
Though HBO hasn't confirmed a city or property to film, people in South Haven said it makes sense to stick to the roots of the story.
“We really want it to be shot here because this is where it was born, this is what it's all about.” O'Sullivan said, “We only think it’s natural that the TV series will be shot here because that’s authentically where it was written and where it was written about.”
Show representatives and Niffenegger said they'll keep in touch as new ideas develop.