Mega-producer Ryan Murphy is known for working with the same troupe of actors and his upcoming Netflix series Ratched will be no exception, as The Assassination of Gianni Versace stars Finn Wittrock and Jon Jon Briones will join Sarah Paulson on the show, multiple sources have told Collider.
Ratched effectively serves as a prequel to the Oscar-winning 1975 drama One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, in which Louise Fletcher played the infamous nurse tormenting poor Jack Nicholson. The Netflix series will begin in 1947 and track Nurse Ratched’s terrifying progression through the mental health care system. The streaming service has given the series a two-season, 18-episode commitment.
Paulson will star as the title character, while Filipino actor Briones will play the head doctor at the mental institution where she works. Wittrock will play a violent criminal who shares a secret with Nurse Ratched. The latter actor has been a Murphy regular ever since working with him on The Normal Heart. He has since played multiple characters on American Horror Story over the course of three seasons, and he was solid as Andrew Cunanan’s doomed love Jeffrey Trail on the second season of American Crime Story. It was while watching Versace that I was introduced to Briones, who as I wrote in my review, was “utterly fantastic” as Cunanan’s father. Briones parlayed his two Versace episodes into a recurring role on the latest season of American Horror Story, but I’m thrilled to see him land a lead on Ratched, because I think he’s a wildly talented actor.
Murphy has described the series as “a feminist horror story” that will explore the mind of a sociopath. “She’s one of the great villains…she’s like a female [Hannibal] Lecter,” Murphy told the crowd at GQ Live in Los Angeles last Saturday. He’ll executive produce Ratched alongside Aleen Keshishian, Margaret Riley and Jacob Epstein of Lighthouse Management & Media, as well as Michael Douglas, who produced Cuckoo’s Nest. The rights to that Jack Nicholson classic are owned by The Sault Zaentz Company, so its Paul Zaentz will produce along with Paulson, while Evan Romansky, who created and wrote Ratched, will co-executive produce the show, which hails from Fox 21 Television.
Wittrock, who will soon be seen in Barry Jenkins‘ drama If Beale Street Could Talk, is represented by CAA and Weissenbach Management, while Briones is repped by Abrams Artists Agency.