Ratched executive producers Sarah Paulson and Ryan Murphy are offering viewers their first extended look at the backstory of sadistic Nurse Mildred Ratched with the release of the prequel series based on Ken Kesey's 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest on September 18. Just to get this out of the way now, the trailer had me with Paulson's pause before berating the man asking the "personal" question for his personal hygiene. What follows is a disturbingly intense trailer that vibes like a cross between Castle Rock season 2 and a new season of American Horror Story (count the AHS alumni in the trailer).
Similar in approach to the second season of Castle Rock and Bates Motel, Ratched is an origin story that begins in the mid-'40s and follows our lead's (Paulson) devolution from a nurse to a full-fledged monster as she makes her way up through the mental health care system. Murphy has mapped out a four-season origin arc for the series (the series has already been renewed for two seasons/18 episodes), where Paulson's nurse would face off against a different male adversary each season. The fourth and final season would blend Cuckoo's Nest into the narrative.
Joining Paulson on the series are Jon Jon Briones (Sons of Anarchy), Charlie Carver (The Leftovers), Judy Davis (Feud), Harriet Harris (Nurse Betty), Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City), Hunter Parrish (Weeds), Amanda Plummer (Pulp Fiction), Corey Stoll (The Strain), Sharon Stone (Casino) Finn Wittrock (American Horror Story), Rosanna Arquette (Pulp Fiction), Sophie Okonedo (Flack), and Vincent D'Onofrio (Marvel's Daredevil). Murphy is set to direct the opening episode from a script by newcomer writer Evan Romansky. Joining Paulson and Murphy as executive producers are Michael Douglas, Ian Brennan, Alexis Martin Woodall, Aleen Keshishian, Jacob Epstein, Jennifer Salt, Margaret Riley, Robert Mitas, and Tim Minear.