When one thinks of Nurse Ratched, the much-despised caregiver who menaces and eventually lobotomizes Jack Nicholson’s character in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, they think of Louise Fletcher’s haunting, detached performance. But with the upcoming Netflix series “Ratched,” prolific TV creator Ryan Murphy, after happening upon a spec script by Evan Romansky, is hoping to bring a new interpretation of this iconic antagonist, taking a closer look at her life before her outright villainy in writer Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel. Reuniting with his frequent collaborator Sarah Paulson, who appeared throughout much of Murphy’s “American Horror Story,” the series is set roughly a decade and a half before the events depicted in the Milos Forman–directed ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’ adaptation, with Paulson playing the eponymous lead.
Murphy and Romansky’s “Ratched” looks to trace the nurse’s history, leading through the events that turned her into the detached monster of Forman’s film. As with many a Murphy production, the series has some mighty talent in supporting roles – including Cynthia Nixon, Judy Davis, and Vincent D’Onofrio to name a few. The show’s summary can be seen below:
In 1947, Mildred 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.
“Ratched” was inspired by the character of Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and was created by Evan Romansky. The series stars Sarah Paulson as Mildred Ratched, Cynthia Nixon as Gwendolyn Briggs, Judy Davis as Nurse Betsy Bucket, Sharon Stone as Lenore Osgood, Jon Jon Briones as Dr. Richard Hanover, Finn Wittrock as Edmund Tolleson, Charlie Carver as Huck, Alice Englert as Dolly, Amanda Plummer as Louise, Corey Stoll as Charles Wainwright, Sophie Okonedo as Charlotte and Vincent D’Onofrio as Gov. George Wilburn.
The series is executive produced by Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan, Sarah Paulson, Alexis Martin Woodall, Aleen Keshishian, Jacob Epstein, Jennifer Salt, Margaret Riley, Michael Douglas, Robert Mitas and Tim Minear. The show will premiere on September 18.