It’s a good day to be a fan of The Witcher. After announcing the premiere date of season 2 and showing off the first teaser trailer, the streaming giant also revealed a feature-length animated Witcher film. The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf is a Netflix original anime film set before the events of the live-action series.

What is The Nightmare of the Wolf?

Details are scarce, but the anime prequel to the hit dark fantasy series centers on Vesemir, one of the oldest surviving witchers. Vesemir served as a father figure to young Geralt when his mother Visenna left him at Kaer Morhen, home of the witcher School of the Wolf.

Vesemir’s story diverges depending on whether you’re referencing The Witcher novels by Andrzej Sapkowski or are playing the video game series of the same name. What remains consistent is his rough paternal nature, though the anime may take place before he’s developed much of that. The trailer indicates that we’re going to see the trials of a very young Vesemir, perhaps even before he met Geralt.

Actor Kim Bodnia, who will play Vesemir in the second season of the live-action series, will also voice him for the animated film. It will be directed by Kwang Il Han (The Boondocks) and was written by The Witcher series writer Beau DeMayo

“Face Your Demons”

Nightmare of the Wolf won’t be the last Netflix anime title to spin off of The Witcher. There’s also the live-action prequel series Blood Origin in the works, so Netflix is banking that no one gets tired of this world.

Thankfully, there’s a lot that can be explored in animation that’s simply out of reach in live-action storytelling. You can use all of the green-screen and CGI you want, but some things are still just in the realm of the impossible. Nightmare of the Wolf can explore some of the more esoteric concepts in the Witcher universe and still look gorgeous while doing it.

The tagline “Face Your Demons” might mean this is more than Vesemir’s origin story. It might be the origin of all witchers, and of the magical Signs they use to fight demons. Perhaps the magic comes from the demons themselves? There’s some Re-Animator-looking green fluid going into someone’s arm, and then there’s a werewolf. The two are probably connected, and they’ll somehow connect to Henry Cavill‘s Geralt chilling in a hot-tub in a white wig. Time will tell.

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf releases worldwide August 23, 2021 on Netflix.

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