One of film’s most terrifying villains is getting her own TV show.
American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy and Netflix have once again joined forces for Ratched, the prequel series to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. And Netflix released the first photos from production to pique your interest.
AHS alum Sarah Paulson stars as Nurse Mildred Ratched, the main antagonist in Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel. The character was played by Louise Fletcher in Miloš Forman’s 1975 film adaptation, for which she won an Academy Award.
Seeing as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is largely considered one of the greatest films ever made, and Nurse Ratched might be a scarier villain than Hannibal Lector and Annie Wilkes combined (you know, with her oppressive authority and lobotomies and such), Murphy and Paulson have some big shoes to fill.
Per Netflix, the upcoming show is a “suspenseful drama that tells the origin story of asylum nurse Mildred Ratched. 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,” the description continues, “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.” Um, spooky.
Paulson explained to Vanity Fair that Ratched will give a clear understanding of the nurse’s backstory, from her childhood to her relationships and sexuality. “By the time you get to the end of the first season, you will not wonder how and why Mildred became the way she did,” she said.
Paulson (who’s also credited as a producer on the show) is joined by Cynthia Nixon, Judy Davis, Sharon Stone, Jon Jon Briones, Finn Wittrock, Charlie Carver, Alice Englert, Amanda Plummer, Corey Stoll, Sophie Okonedo and Vincent D’Onofrio (and apparently a monkey).
And since Murphy previously signed a multi-year deal with Netfix, you can expect to see a lot of him on the streaming service. In addition to Ratched and a recently released second season of The Politician, he’s also working on Hollywood, The Boys in the Band, The Prom and an untitled project based on Tiger King.
Ratched will premiere on September 18 on Netflix.