It's been a very busy week for Ryan Murphy: promoting American Horror Story: Cult, which premiered on FX Tuesday night; and releasing the first teaser trailer for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story during Cult's premiere episode. It's enough to drive a man…well, considering Murphy's next project, maybe I'll stop right there.
Deadline:Hollywood is reporting that Netflix is the big winner for Ratched, Murphy's new dramatic series that stars Sarah Paulson as a younger version of the sadistic Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, with original film producer Michael Douglas set to executive produce with Murphy. The streaming service beat out both Hulu and Apple for the rights with a two-season, 18-episode, straight-to-series commitment. Production on Ratched is expected to begin around mid-2018, with Murphy directing the opening episode as he does on all of his series from a script by newcomer writer Evan Romansky.
Similar in approach to Bates Motel, Ratched is an origins story that begins in 1947 and follows Ratched's (Paulson) devolution from nurse to full-fledged monster as she makes her way up through the mental health care system. The Academy Award-winning 1976 film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (based on Ken Kesey's novel) introduced audiences to the character of Nurse Ratched, who instantly became one of the most famous and infamous pop culture villains of all time. Ratched was played in the movie by Louise Fletcher, who would go on to win a Best Actress Academy Award for the role, one of five Oscars that the film would win.
Murphy, Douglas, as well as Aleen Keshishian, Margaret Riley and Jacob Epstein of Lighthouse Management & Media will serve as executive producers for Ratched; with Romansky co-executive producing the series. Paulson will produce along with Paul Zaentz of the Saul Zaentz Company, which owns the rights to the Cuckoo's Nest feature. Fox 21 is the designated studio, producing through Murphy's overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV.