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Ratched: Sarah Paulson flies over the cuckoo's nest as a sadistic nurse in creepy first trailer

By Josh Weiss
Sarah Paulson Ratched

Sarah Paulson and Ryan Murphy team back up for a new kind of "American horror story" in the first colorful trailer for Netflix's Ratched. Serving as a prequel to Ken Kesey's celebrated 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, the eight-episode series is a lavish period piece that fills in the origin story of the sadistic and vindictive Nurse Mildred Ratched.

After serving as a healthcare worker during the Second World War, Mildred (played by Paulson) shows up at a Northern California psychiatric hospital in 1947 to fulfill her lobotomized destiny. Trust us, you don't want to get on Nurse Ratched's bad side and whatever you do, don't eat her peaches!

Louise Fletcher famously played the iconic character in Miloš Forman's Oscar-winning 1975 adaptation of the book, starring Jack NicholsonRatched also features a few other AHS vets, like Sharon Stone ("Lenore Osgood"), Finn Wittrock ("Edmund Tolleson"), and Jon Jon Briones ("Dr. Richard Hanover").

Watch it here:

"I feel like Nurse Ratched is sort of a shorthand for barbarism," Murphy, who serves as executive producer, told Vanity Fair. "She became almost like a catchphrase for any sort of institutional abuse of power. What was interesting was trying to create an emotional character from a reputation that’s very cold ... trying to figure out every little detail about her childhood, her relationships, her sexuality. Because when people think of Ratched, they think of her as shut off and cruel and uncaring.”

The supporting cast includes Cynthia Nixon ("Gwendolyn Briggs") Judy Davis ("Nurse Betsy Bucket"), Charlie Carver ("Huck"), Alice Englert ("Dolly"), Amanda Plummer ("Louise"), Corey Stoll ("Charles Wainwright"), Sophie Okonedo ("Charlotte Wells"), Brandon Flynn ("Henry Osgood"), and Vincent D’Onofrio ("Gov. George Wilburn"). 

Created by Evan Romansky, the project is executive-produced by Paulson, Ian Brennan, Alexis Martin Woodall, Aleen Keshishian, Jacob Epstein, Jennifer Salt, Margaret Riley, Michael Douglas, Robert Mitas, and Tim Minear.

Ratched Netflix poster

Ratched will begin to see patients when it arrives on Netflix on Sept. 18. While you wait for your appointment, check out a slew of first-look images in the media gallery below...