The Witcher: Wolf’s Nightmare will be released on August 23, 2021 on Netflix. The film focuses on the witcher named Vesemir, who trained Geralt, and gives important details about the backstory of the hit series.
“The world of The witcher expands this anime origin story: Before Geralt there was his mentor Vesemir – a daring young witch who escaped a life of poverty to kill monsters for coins, “says the official summary. “But when a strange new monster begins to terrorize a politically tense kingdom, Vesemir finds himself on a frightening adventure that forces him to face the demons of his past …”
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ComingSoon editor-in-chief Tyler Treese spoke with The Witcher: Wolf’s Nightmare Director Kwang Il Han about Vesemir as a character, the balance between action and romantic scenes and the most difficult roles.
Tyler Treese: Vesemir is such an interesting character. In your opinion, what really made him stand out and what made him an interesting protagonist for your story?
Kwang Il Han: Vesemir was chosen as the protagonist because Vesemir is Geralt’s teacher in the drama series. If you watch the show you will know, but Vesemir himself did not become a witcher himself. So you can follow the story of Vesemir in the Wolf’s Nightmare and how Geralt was built. You know, the environment Geralt was built in and the reasons Geralt became the Geralt he is now should be explained. Vesemir’s life is indeed one element to explain this. That is why Bessemer was chosen as the protagonist for this new anime.
The movie is so great because of that backstory. It goes really deep into why witchers are so stigmatized. How exciting is it that your film brings such all-important depth and story to this beloved franchise?
It is very important to expand the universe with a lot of depth. While some things can be lost, like when you have an original piece and then turn it into a drama series or other art forms, there are definitely certain parts that are lost. When these missing parts are shown, viewers tend to get question marks, and when they do have question marks, their concentration drops. This anime, The Wolf’s Nightmare, is indeed a medium to complement that.
I would like to know more about your relationship with the series. Did the novels bring it to your attention, maybe the TV show or the video games?
In fact, I’ve seen all three forms in different time frames. The novel and the game and the drama series. The game wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, but to be honest, it is definitely a very well made game. But then it wasn’t my cup of tea, but I exposed myself to all three forms, the novel, the game and the drama series
There are so many great action scenes in the film. Were there any animation sequences that were particularly difficult to direct?
So it was quite a challenge across the board, to be honest, but especially for the action scenes. The hardest thing I would say is to portray the emotions. So, I mean, this is the character’s emotion at the moment and what kind of action would it best portray. That is the hardest part and the hardest part of the process. So the action scenes shouldn’t just be the violence that is shown based on the character’s flow of thoughts or then with no clear purpose, but rather it should be an art form where you struggle with emotions. Representing that with the unconscious is something I struggle with the most. Then I had to make sure that a lot of elements were put in there so that the audience could feel the emotions behind it too. Especially the emotionally charged scenes in the later part of the show were pretty tricky.
In addition to the action, there is also a really touching love story in the film. Can you find the balance between all these action-packed scenes, but also those emotional moments and that really drive home?
So there are a lot of action scenes here, but then it’s not that action-heavy compared to my previous projects, the wolf’s nightmare is actually very much focused on the life of Vesemir. Even if there are action scenes, it is actually part of Vesemir’s life. When I first took on the project, I remember being with the writer Beau. have spoken [DeMayo] that we should actually add a little more love story elements to the story, but then it was rejected because he said it would actually undermine the plot. But I still believe the love story on the show could have had more weight. I actually got really focused on building this love story on the show to balance between the two elements.