The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf is only about a month away, and there’s a lot to get familiar with before it comes out. Nightmare of the Wolf is a prequel to Netflix‘s The Witcher, and is the franchise’s first step into animation. Scroll down for all the details you need about the movie.

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf is set hundreds of years before the events of the main series, before Geralt of Rivia was created. It follows Geralt’s mentor, Vesemir, introducing him to the small screen shortly before the Netflix original series has a chance to in Season 2. Unlike the main series and the video games, Nightmare of the Wolf is not based on any of Andrzej Sapkowski’s original Witcher Saga novels, so this project represents many firsts for the franchise. Fans are generally most excited to see the series translated into anime-style animation.

This new animated format seems perfect for The Witcher for many fans based on what they’ve seen so far. Veteran fans are also deeply fascinated by this spinoff for its promise of new, original material added to the canon. The other spinoff in the works promises the same — The Witcher: Blood Origins will be a limited series set during the Conjunction of the Spheres.

The wait for both spinoffs and Season 2 of the main series continues for just a little longer. Those looking to dive deeper into The Continent can find Sapkowski’s novels on Amazon here in print, digital and audiobook formats. The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf premieres on Monday, Aug. 23 on Netflix. Here’s everything you need to know about the movie beforehand.

Trailer

The trailer for Nightmare of the Wolf was released on July 9 as part of the virtual event WitcherCon, along with a slew of other announcements from within the franchise. Fans were surprised to learn that the movie would premiere less than two months later.

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Announcement

The rumors are true, a new Witcher story is in the works! The anime film, The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, will take us back to a new threat facing the Continent. Brought to you by the Witcher team @LHissrich and @BeauDeMayo, and Studio Mir the studio behind Legend of Korra.

— Netflix Geeked (@NetflixGeeked) January 22, 2020

Netflix announced Nightmare of the Wolf in January of 2020, after the news leaked via the Writer’s Guild of America. The movie has been in the works for over a year now and although the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed production on many projects, the animation industry has generally been able to keep up its usual pace, so there’s a good chance the timeline hasn’t been disrupted too much.

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Creative Team

Thanks to @Medievilpt who caught this, we now know the length of ‘The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf’ 2D anime film, written by @BeauDeMayo pic.twitter.com/ihPnQzPOE3

— Redanian Intelligence: The Witcher (@RedanianIntel) January 22, 2021

Nightmare of the Wolf is written by Beau DeMayo, who worked in the writer’s room on The Witcher main series and on Marvel Studios’ upcoming series Moon Knight. The main series’ showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich is also involved in this spinoff as an executive producer. The animation itself will be handled by Studio Mir, an animation studio known for action-packed titles like the Avatar: The Last Airbender sequel The Legend of Korra. It has also worked on Netflix original series like Voltron: Legendary Defenders.

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Cast

Vesemir will be the protagonist of #TheWitcher: Nightmare of the Wolf!https://t.co/wLwYgxA7Ji pic.twitter.com/OUERogjZTG

— ComicBook.com (@ComicBook) January 30, 2020

So far there is no cast in place for Nightmare of the Wolf, though two actors have been cast to play Vesemir in The Witcher main series. Theo James voiced a young version of Vesemir in a flashback sequence in Season 1, and since this movie takes place in the distant past, he may be a good choice to provide continuity. On the other hand, Kim Bodnia will play the current-age Vesemir in The Witcher Season 2, and casting him in the animated feature might seem more logical to Netflix.

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Plot

Netflix has revealed the bare bones of the plot of this spinoff already, giving fans a vague idea of what it will reveal. The streamer’s official description says: “Long before mentoring Geralt, Vesemir begins his own journey as a Witcher after the mysterious Deglan claims him through the Law of Surprise.”

DeMayo also spoke a bit about the content and feel of the movie in an interview with ComicBook.com. He said: “[The Witcher world] is a massive canvas, and I actually started out my career working as an assistant and executive at Disney in animation, and it was there where I first got my job in the industry. So I was aware when Lauren came and asked me to write [the film] what we could do in animation that you cannot do in live-action.”

“There is not necessarily always parity between those two mediums. There are things that you can animate in an animated form that will look so amazing, so badass, that if you did it in live-action, it’s just going to look goofy or it’s just going to register as a little false to the human eye,” DeMayo continued. “There’s a grace and an art form to animation, and especially anime, that allows a different flavor. So I think from Lauren and [my] perspective when we came at it, was what is the type of story we can tell? Which, I can’t tell you the story, but what is the type of story that we could tell that we could never tell in our live-action scope? Something with magic and monsters and adventure and romance that you couldn’t necessarily use a live-action medium to tell, and I think when people see the anime and when it releases, there are very particular choices we made.”

“And the script itself, there are certain things it takes advantage of in terms of animation that only animation can do. I think that’s what’s the most exciting thing that I’m waiting for fans to see. Is that, when you see the anime, it’s not just the events, it’s what Studio Mir has been capable of pulling off. It’s what our partners in the anime division at Netflix have been able to pull off. It is something… it is a story we could not have told in live-action in any way, shape or form. At least not without an incredible burden on production, I will say that,” DeMayo concluded.

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Release Date

Here is the logo for Nightmare of the Wolf. A Witcher Anime film coming 2021. pic.twitter.com/vagw48L8NS

— Netflix Geeked (@NetflixGeeked) December 21, 2020

Finally, there is no official release date for The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf just yet, but Netflix has said that it is coming sometime in 2021. Presumably, fans will get some warning before it premieres, not to mention a trailer and more announcements. However, time is running out since The Witcher Season 2 itself is slated for release in the last quarter of the year. Stay tuned for updates on Nightmare of the Wolf as they become available, and the rest of the growing Witcher universe.

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