“Ratched” Trailer Gives Us the Campy “Cuckoo’s Nest” Prequel No One Wanted

One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest remains one of the most powerful movies ever made, even 45 years later. The adaptation of Ken Kesey's novel remains one of only three films to win the "Big Five" Oscars. Milos Forman's movie walked a tricky tonal tightrope, a nearly impossible task everyone pulled off. It was on both editions of the American Film Institute's top 100 movies, and Louise Fletcher's Nurse Ratched was named a top-five movie villain. All this clearly means we need a Netflix miniseries exploring her origin story.

With Ryan Murphy producing, the series will almost certainly go for a mix of scary and campy, and churn through plot at a record pace. Newcomer Evan Romansky wrote or co-wrote nearly every episode of the show, and he may bring a slightly more controlled tone to the series, which follows Ratched as she settles into her post-war role at a creepy seaside hospital.

But this is a Ryan Murphy production, and that means he's got an incredible cast lined up. Sarah Paulson stars as Mildred Ratched, with a more menacing style than Louise Fletcher, Academy Award nominee Judy Davis plays a rival nurse, Vincent D'Onofrio hams it up as the sadistic governor, Cynthia Nixon feigns concern as her confidante, and Sharon Stone swaggers in as a glamorous woman with a pet monkey.

Check out the trailer below.  Ratched premieres all eight episodes on Netflix on Friday, September 18.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.