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'The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf' challenges viewers to face their demons with full Netflix trailer

By Josh Weiss
The Witcher Nightmare of the Wolf

Netflix tossed more than a few coins over to Vesemir with the official trailer for Nightmare of the Wolf — an upcoming anime film set within the fantasy world of The Witcher. The fresh footage doesn't pull any punches, teasing a parade of violence among monsters and men.

Releasing later this month, the project follows a young and cocky version of Vesemir (voiced by Theo James), who will one day go on to take an up-and-coming Geralt of Rivia under his wing. In this prequel, however, Vesemir is content to slay beasts in exchange for money and steamy baths. When a strange new creature begins terrorizing a politically-fraught kingdom, the witcher is forced to put aside his brash and arrogant tendencies in order to confront the demons of his past.

"We wanted to make sure that the anime expanded our understanding of the continent and its history and I think more than that I wanted to focus on a story that was very personal to The Witcher world and its history and that it felt very human despite the fact that we would have all these fantastical elements surrounding it," writer/producer Beau DeMayo states in the film's production notes. "Outside of story, I wanted to make sure that we were telling something that could only be told in animation, a story that really took advantage of what animation can do both visually and emotionally."

Watch the trailer below:

"While incorporating the rich backgrounds from the source material, every department of my team brought their voices in the creative discussions as a balance," adds director/co-executive producer Kwang Il Han. "We took every opportunity in the details of the scenes to bring creativity and enjoyment to the vast world of witchers, so I can’t wait for the audience to see this new world of witchers in anime soon. There are a lot of elements in the witchers' story that I believe are relatable, in terms of what they emotionally go through and struggle in life. I’m excited for the fans and the world to enjoy not only the rich world but also the rich characters that ask some interesting questions for us to think about our lives."

Lara Pulver (Tetra Gilcrest, a powerful sorceress); Graham McTavish (Deglan, warrior-leader of the witchers), and Mary McDonnell (Lady Zerbst, a Kaedwen noblewoman) co-star. Lauren Schmidt Hissrich — creator, executive producer, and showrunner on the main live-action series — executive-produces the film.

"Beau DeMayo wrote Nightmare of the Wolf and we talked for a long time about how best to couch the anime within our existing world," she says. "It was important to us that it not be something that our live action audience has to watch to understand. Of course, we hope everyone watches it, but it also feels like anime is a very specific audience and we think that people will watch it who’ve never seen The Witcher and that probably, hopefully it will get some new audience as well."

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf ventures onto Netflix Monday, Aug. 23. Season 2 of the flagship title premieres this December. Blood Origin, a live-action limited series about the first-ever witcher, is also in the works.