Coming out this week is the next instalment in The Witcher franchise. Starring Theo James as Vesemir, Geralt’s mentor, The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf follows Vesemir as a younger witcher. Many who know the character from the games and books will be surprised by the Vesemir we meet in this film. He’s surprisingly brash, dashing and full of a charm that would make any prince or princess swoon. In The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, we not only follow a younger Vesemir, we follow him through a key moment in his career as a witcher.
Vesemir is a brilliant character. Theo James’ performance as Vesemir brings the character further depth. Fans actually get to see him from childhood to adulthood and it’s quite an emotional journey. Surrounding him is a phenomenal cast, Graham McTavish plays Deglan his witcher mentor, Lara Pulver as a sorceress that Vesemir has to team up with. Rounding off the main cast is Mary McDonnell who plays Lady Zerbst, a noble who is also a witcher sympathiser. Each of the actors are brilliant in their respective roles. Mary McDonnell is a particular highlight bringing in a lot of humanity to this film of men and monsters.
A witcher never hesitates
When watching The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf I couldn’t help but think animation is where the franchise could truly blossom. Studio Mir, the same studio that has worked on The Legend of Korra and Voltron: Legendary Defender is pulling out all the stops here.
The battles between Vesemir and the menagerie of monsters he fights are stunning to watch. There is a particular fight in the climax of the film between Vesemir and several other combatants that is phenomenal in both style and cinematography. There are also quiet moments in the film. These show off the subtle and emotional moments between the characters. There is something quite arresting about the eyes of several of the characters.
There’ll always be more monsters
What The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf achieves better than most other spin-offs is that it understands how to organically expand its world. Nothing in the film feels like cheap fanservice. If you’re a keen-eyed fan you might try looking for some noteworthy characters but there is nothing wrong with that.
Director Kwang Il Han and writer Beau DeMayo are a brilliant creative team. Altogether this team, from the writer, director to the actors and animators have crafted an engaging addition to the world of The Witcher.
The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf is a must-see film for not only fans of the Witcher franchise but also fans of film and animation.