Netflix has released a trailer for Ratched, its upcoming origin story based on the character of Nurse Mildred Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. It will premiere on the streaming service on September 18th.
Over two seasons and 18 episodes, the series (which begins in 1947, 16 years before the events of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) follows Mildred Ratched as she arrives in Northern California to begin working at a psychiatric hospital where new and unsettling experiments have begun on the human mind. But Mildred is actually on her own secret mission to infiltrate the mental health care system, and soon her perfect nurse image begins to slip, exposing the darkness within her and “revealing that true monsters are made, not born.”
Check out the first trailer for Ratched below:
Paulson takes on the role originally portrayed by Louise Fletcher in 1975’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Ratched also stars Cynthia Nixon, Judy Davis, Sharon Stone, Finn Wittrock, Corey Stoll, and Vincent D’Onofrio as Gov. George Wilburn. Rosanna Arquette will also be appearing in a still-yet to be revealed role.
Ratched is created by Evan Romansky and executive produced by Ian Brennan and Ryan Murphy, the producers behind hit shows including Glee, The Politician, and Hollywood. Over the course of the 3-minute trailer, we’re certainly given a show of Murphy and co’s usual highly-stylized, oft-carnivalesque old school Hollywood flair. But this is still the creator of American Horror Story, and the series showcases high-contrast lighting cues, teases of grotesque medical horror, and, of course, stellar, campy performances from all.
Check out the poster for the series as well:
Ratched looks like an incredibly well-made and entertaining, and might be a little hard to watch at times, but it bears almost no resemblance to the classic, highly realistic 1975 film made by the late, great Milos Forman (only the second movie ever to win all five major Academy Awards: Best Picture, Actor in Lead Role, Actress in Lead Role, Director and Screenplay).
It’s worth noting that this continues a recent trend of late: Origin Stories. It’s hard to say if audiences really want origin stories or if it’s just been the unfortunate wrong lesson Hollywood learned from countless late 21st-century horror movies that showed us how Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, and Freddy Krueger all came to be (again). The popularity of Todd Phillip’s mega-blockbuster Joker didn’t help quell such projects.
But was anyone clamoring for a Nurse Ratched origin story? The series seems to resemble a season of Murphy’s American Horror Story more than the woman who would later wreak havoc on Jack Nicholson, Brad Dourif, Danny DeVito, and Christopher Lloyd, among others. Calling the series anything else would at least give it the chance to exist on its own.
This isn’t to say a series like Hannibal didn’t successfully turn a character onto a whole new generation of fans. Ratched does resemble the hyper-stylized, nightmarish qualities Bryan Fuller brought to his series for NBC. Ultimately, it’s up to the series to deliver now. Judging by the trailer, it’s likely to garner similar attention that Murphy’s previous period-piece series did (Hollywood).
Ratched debuts September 18 on Netflix.