Ryan Murphy setting a series in a mental institution with Sarah Paulson as the leading character seems like it’s been done before (cough, American Horror Story’s second season, subtitled Asylum). But the new series from the Glee and American Horror Story creator is actually a prequel to Academy Award-winning One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest, following the origin of the controlling Nurse Ratched.
The 1975 film follows a convict (played by Jack Nicholson) who transfers to a mental institution to avoid hard labor. He’s hoping for an easy time, but quickly finds that the hospital is controlled by authoritative Nurse Ratched, who uses her position of power to intimidate all her charges. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest became the second movie ever to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Actor in Lead Role, Actress in Lead Role, Director and Screenplay).
The Netflix series stars Sarah Paulson — one of Murphy’s frequent collaborators — as Nurse Ratched, diving into her past and telling the story of how she transformed from nurse to full-fledged monster. From this trailer, we see that Paulson is just as stony-faced and controlling as the villain she’ll become, fulfilling her legacy as a star in a Ryan Murphy production to a T.
Ratched is set to premiere on Sept. 18.