Netflix has released a trailer for its high-profile series Ratched, which finds Emmy winner Sarah Paulson playing the wicked nurse from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Louise Fletcher won an Oscar for her performance opposite Jack Nicholson in the 1975 film based on Ken Kesey‘s novel of the same name, though based on this trailer, Paulson clearly makes the iconic character her own as she explores Nurse Ratched’s twisted origin story.
Ratched takes place in 1947 as Mildred Ratched arrives in Northern California to seek employment at a leading psychiatric hospital where new and unsettling experiments have begun on the human mind. On a clandestine mission, Mildred presents herself as the perfect image of what a dedicated nurse should be, but the wheels are always turning, and as she begins to infiltrate the mental health care system and those within it, Mildred’s stylish exterior belies a growing darkness that has long been smoldering within, revealing that true monsters are made, not born.
Jon Jon Briones, who was excellent as Andrew Cunanan‘s father in the second installment of American Crime Story, co-stars as Dr. Richard Hanover, who operates the asylum, while Judy Davis plays its head nurse, Betsy Bucket. Charlie Carver and Alice Englert play a pair of hospital workers, while Finn Wittrock co-stars as a vicious serial killer locked away inside the facility.
Elsewhere, Vincent D’Onofrio plays Governor George Wilburn, and Cynthia Nixon plays his press secretary, Gwendolyn Briggs, who becomes infatuated with Nurse Ratched. Meanwhile, Sharon Stone and Brandon Flynn play a mother-son duo with revenge on their minds, and Amanda Plummer plays a local innkeeper. Finally, Corey Stoll and Sophie Okonedo have recurring roles as investigator Charles Wainwright and multiple personality patient Charlotte Wells, respectively.
Ratched was created by Evan Romansky, and boasts Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan among its team of executive producers. Paulson also serves as an executive producer alongside Alexis Martin Woodall, Aleen Keshishian, Jacob Epstein, Jennifer Salt, Margaret Riley, Robert Mitas, Tim Minear and Michael Douglas, the latter of whom produced One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and shared its Best Picture victory with Saul Zaentz.
Reviews are embargoed until Sept. 14, but I suppose I’m allowed to tell you that I binged all eight episodes over the weekend, making sure to savor the final one, since it could be a while before Netflix can start shooting a second season if the show proves to be a hit. This is my way of reminding you that Ratched wasn’t intended to serve as a limited series — a relief, since the well-crafted world Romansky looks to have created here seems like it’d be able to support multiple seasons of storytelling.
Fletcher leaves some big nurse’s shoes to fill, but Paulson won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her turn as prosecutor Marcia Clark in Murphy’s American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson, so don’t be surprised if she winds up in awards contention again next year. Watch the Ratched trailer below, and if you aren’t intrigued at the very least, you may very well need a lobotomy.