The Witcher boss hopes next anime film will be 'more standalone' than Nightmare of the Wolf
Lauren Hissrich, the showrunner of Netflix's The Witcher who also oversees all the spin-off Witcher projects, shared some new tidbits about the next anime movie to follow Nightmare of the Wolf on the streamer.
This new film "is going to be way, way, way in the future," and Hissrich tells EW she has "no idea what it will be, 'cause we're just now getting started on it." However, she continues, "I hope that the anime is a little bit more of a standalone project that will bring new eyes onto the franchise but also really be able to stand out there on its own."
The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, the first expansion to The Witcher on Netflix, was more of a lead-in to the main series. Premiering on Aug. 23, the movie featured the voice of Theo James as Vesemir to tell the origins of the mentor to Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) before he was introduced in live-action form in The Witcher season 2 by way of Killing Eve actor Kim Bodnia.
Beau DeMayo, a scribe on The Witcher, was tapped to work on the story for Nightmare of the Wolf. Hissrich says the two writers on the new anime have similarly "been on the staff from the beginning."
"Everyone is getting to work on the pieces of the project that they're passionate about," she remarks. "That has been really, really fun to see, allowing people to own parts of The Witcher themselves in the same way that I am."
Also announced this year was the development of a kids and family Witcher series. Hissrich confirms that, too, will be animated, but there's a much different plan in place. It stems from the stories behind the stories told in author Andrzej Sapkowski's original Witcher novels.
"That process came out of a ton of conversations, which of course broached, if we do a kids and family show, is it going to be The Witcher at all?" she explains. "How do we do The Witcher without all of the gore, all of the violence, all of the brutality that we see in the Witcher world? Those things to me are the bells and whistles of this world. If you peel away those layers, you come back to basic tales of morality. That's what all of Sapkowski's short stories are. They're morality tales, they're fairytales. They're based on a bunch of folklore and mythology, the exact sort of tales that Grimms' fairytales do, that frankly Disney movies do. So, it was about, how do we take those same fundamental lessons, those same tales, keep them in the world of The Witcher, but make them more appropriate for kids?"
It's a concept close to Hissrich's heart. She has an 8- and 10-year-old at home who are constantly asking her if they can watch The Witcher. "They get to see the trailers before anyone else does, which is great, but it's just not something that they're ever going to be able to watch. And I want to bring them into this world," she says.
Hissrich acknowledges the humor in that challenge. After all, in order to become a Witcher, young boys must endure the Trial of the Grasses. If you haven't watched Nightmare of the Wolf or read the books, it involves a painful process that either kills them or mutates them into superhuman warriors.
"We won't be telling that part of the story," Hissrich says. "But I do want to initiate a new audience into this world. I want my boys to grow up watching this animated series and getting so excited to the point that they can dig into the main series, as well. It's an entrance point in my mind."