Even in 2020 the existence of a Nurse Ratched origin story from Ryan Murphy inspires a little disbelief. This could easily be self-parody, and while the first photos from Ratched definitely read like a Ryan Murphy Joint (Finn Wittrock, everyone!), there’s still something kind of mystifying about this whole thing (Sharon Stone is here and she is extremely casual about the actual monkey—in a dress and pearls—on her back). Netflix released several photos from Murphy’s upcoming series, which debuts on September 18 and imagines the origin story of the eponymous nurse (played by Sarah Paulson, of course) and iconic villain from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Casting aside, you can clearly tell this is a Murphy project based on the cinematography and costuming alone.
Featured in the photos are Sarah Paulson as Nurse Mildred Ratched, Cynthia Nixon as Gwendolyn Briggs, Judy Davis as Nurse Betsy Bucket (HAHA WHAT), Finn Wittrock as Edmund Tolleson, Sophie Okonedo as Charlotte, Liz Femi, Charlie Carver, and Jon Jon Briones as Dr. Hanover. But wait, there’s so much more: The series also stars Corey Stoll, Rosanna Arquette, Vincent D’Onofrio, Alice Englert, Amanda Plummer, and Hunter Parrish.
The photos give you a pretty good idea of what Murphy’s thrown in his wacky narrative blender this time around, throwing in a little bit of Mildred Pierce, The Knick, and perhaps even his own American Horror Story: Asylum for good measure. You can check those out below the official plot synopsis:
From Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, RATCHED is a suspenseful drama series 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, 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.