With the release date for season 4 of The Witcher remaining up in the air as the series makes efforts to push itself into new territory, you may find that you simply cannot wait that long to see where the next journey will take you. Luckily, there is a 2021 spinoff movie that was released on Netflix called The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf that critics and fans agree is worthy of your time.
Though this series is an anime-styled prequel to the live-action TV series that you’re familiar with, it’s a worthy addition in the form of supplemental content that dives into the story of Geralt of Rivia’s mentor and fellow witcher, Vesemir.
Writer Beau DeMayo ultimately decided to make this movie animated because he felt that it made for more exciting story-telling and opened up a whole new world of possibilities that simply could not be accomplished as a live-action movie.
The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf is set in the year 1165, and centers on Vesemir’s journey of self-discovery as he learns of the morally dubious choices that other witchers have made. We also get significant insight into Vesemir’s upbringing, training, and the mutations that he underwent to become a witcher.
Having to make peace with past mistakes, Vesemir is tasked with making the right choices, learning how to carry his burdens, and making great personal sacrifices along the way as he ultimately becomes responsible for mentoring younger witchers like Geralt.
Though The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf is a supplemental animated counterpart to the Henry Cavill starring Netflix series, it’s still very much a part of the vast and imaginative world in which The Witcher resides.
Writer Beau DeMayo ultimately made the decision for this movie to be animated because he felt that it made for more exciting story-telling, and opened up a whole new world of possibilities that simply could not be accomplished as a live-action movie.
Using a mix of both traditional and computer-generated animation, Nightmare of the Wolf is a stunning addition to the Witcher universe that expertly blends European/American-style animation with Japanese-style animation.
On the critical front, Nightmare of the Wolf was a resounding success, boasting a 100 percent critical score against an 83 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
The choice to animate The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf allowed for quite a bit of cinematic violence as well. Boasting the same TV-MA rating as the series that it’s based on, Nightmare of the Wolf is not only jam-packed with an impressive amount of action and violence, the overall cinematography is stunning when magic is used on screen because it’s not a mix of live-action and special effects, but rather much more seamless because it’s entirely animated.
On the critical front, Nightmare of the Wolf was a resounding success, boasting a 100 percent critical score against an 83 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Most critics overwhelmingly agree that Nightmare of the Wolf is a welcome addition to the books, shows, and video games that are in the constantly expanding Witcher universe.
Most importantly, this spin-off movie has been praised for its storytelling, and reviewers have suggested that even if you’re not familiar with the Witcher franchise as a whole, you can still enjoy this film as a standalone property that will more than likely make you want to stick around and see what the Netflix series is all about.
As for the voice-acting, fans of The Witcher will be pleased to know that Theo James reprised his role as Vesemir for the animated series. Considering that he had a vocal cameo in season 1 as a young Vesemir, it’s only fitting that he’d take on the role once again, but in a more significant capacity.
The harsh reality that we have to deal with is that season 4 of The Witcher won’t be streaming on Netflix anytime soon. Though The Witcher will pick up where it left off, but with Henry Cavill being replaced by Liam Hemsworth after his exit from the series, we also have to consider the ongoing writers strike, and how it has derailed the continuity of many of our favorite series as we anxiously wait for a sound resolution to be made.
Even if you’re not familiar with the Witcher franchise as a whole, you can still enjoy this film as a standalone property.
While some rumors suggest that we’ll see season 4 sometime in 2024, other reports have suggested that it’s more realistic to expect a 2025 release.
If you’re a longtime fan of The Witcher, but haven’t yet seen Nightmare of the Wolf, it will most certainly be worthy of your viewing as we wait for season 4 to make its Netflix debut. And if this is all new territory for you, then you’re in luck because you have 24 episodes of The Witcher, as well as this stunning animated prequel to familiarize yourself with while we wait for further developments on the series.