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Read This Before You See The Witcher: Nightmare Of The Wolf

This content was paid for by Netflix and created by Looper.

Toss a coin to your witcher, folks, because this riveting world of fantasy grows even bigger with the upcoming animated prequel film, "The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf." This time, fans of "The Witcher" will be treated to a look back at the storied history of the man who helped shape the monster-hunting career of Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill): his mentor, Vesemir.

Yes, "Nightmare of the Wolf" will take fans back in time to the era when young Vesemir has become a successful witcher in order to escape poverty. Vesemir is content to kill beasts for coin and glory until a strange new monster begins to terrorize the kingdom, and our hero has to face his own troubled past to persevere on his quest.

Before the film arrives to expand the Witcher universe on Monday, August 23, here's a look at what else you should know about "The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf."

A magical cast

Leading the voice cast of "Nightmare of the Wolf" is Theo James, who's known for his work on "Downton Abbey" and the "Divergent" film series and who voices the character Hector on "Castlevania" and Rek'yr in "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance." In this new anime film, James voices the role of Vesemir, the cocky witcher who took up the trade after growing up as a servant on a nobleman's estate but always knew there was more to his destiny than that.

Then, Lara Pulver, who audiences may know from her work on series like "Sherlock" and "The Alienist," stars in the film as Tetra Gilchrest. She's a sorceress whose magic can be traced all the way back to the Continent's first mages, and she believes that magic connects all things and should not be abused by its wielders.

Meanwhile, "Outlander" favorite Graham McTavish – who's also been cast as Sigismund Dijkstra in "The Witcher" Season 2 — voices the role of Deglan. Deglan is the hardened and extremely loyal leader of the witchers and descends from the rough Skellige Isles. And two-time Oscar nominated actress Mary McDonnell voices the role of Lady Zerbst, a Kaedwen noblewoman on the king's advisory council who not only has the royal ear but also has the witchers' backs.

A creative spark

In addition to a new incoming cast, "Nightmare of the Wolf" also brings director Kwang Il Han into the Witcher world. Prior to diving into the Continent for this film, Han was known for his work in some of the most impressive animated shows of all time, including "Avatar: The Last Airbender," "The Legend of Korra," and "The Boondocks," just to name a few.

Han revealed that upon reading Andrzej Sapkowski's "Witcher" novel series, he was filled with visions of the story's scenery and was instantly inspired and wanted to bring those images to the screen for fellow fans. "Especially the road to Kaer Morhen," Han said, "the novel really takes you on a journey through different parts of nature — you pass the plains from behind, go through a river and a range of mountains to get to the hidden place that is Kaer Morhen. So I tried to capture those rich geographical elements in 'The Witcher' anime as well. ... I am very excited to show you how we translated the rich descriptions of the novel into the animation world."

A fantastic format

The screenplay for the film comes from writer-producer Beau DeMayo, who previously wrote the third episode of "The Witcher" ("Betrayer Moon") and produced other episodes of the live-action series. For DeMayo, the opportunity to explore Vesemir's origin story in animated format was an exciting one. "In the anime form, it will give fans that are very familiar with the series a totally unique experience that I hope makes them feel like they're coming to 'The Witcher' for the first time again," he said.

Also producing the film is Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, who's the executive producer and showrunner of "The Witcher." Schmidt Hissrich explained that the animated format of "Nightmare of the Wolf" is essential to not only offering audiences something exciting and new but also tackling a key scene without the constraints of visual and practical effects limitations. "What was wild is that Beau had these wonderful pictures about huge monster battles and my brain is like, 'Prosthetics, VFX, how do we, I can't –- we can't.' And it was like, oh no, no. We can do all of that,'" she said. "So, the entire movie culminates in this battle of Kaer Morhen, and we actually get to see the moment that humans and mages turn on witchers and try to take them down."

So with its all-star cast giving vocal life to some fan favorites, a trio of dedicated creatives determined to bring a major piece of the "Witcher" universe to the screen, and a lot of stunning visual imagery thanks to its unique anime format, there's a lot for "The Witcher" fans to look forward to when "Nightmare of the Wolf" arrives on Netflix on Monday, August 23.