Ryan Murphy is teaming up with Sarah Paulson once again to create a new series for Netflix called Ratched — a prequel based on the character of Nurse Ratched from 1975’s Jack Nicholson classic, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Nurse Ratched was a memorable and career defining role for Louise Fletcher, one that earned her a well-deserved Oscar. And now we’re getting an origin story about her, because Hollywood just can’t help itself when it comes to over-explaining supporting characters and villains.
It’s not that we don’t have faith in Murphy and Paulson — they’ve worked together to great results on American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson and American Horror Story (although, let’s be honest, not every season of AHS is stellar) in the past. Murphy has also worked on several successful series without Paulson, including Feud, Glee and Nip/Tuck.
It’s more of a question of ‘is this really necessary?’ Do we really need to know why Nurse Ratched was the way that she is, or is it better to let her character speak for herself in Cuckoo’s Nest?
Fans on Twitter all seem to be of one mind regarding the news:
Why is Hollywood obsessed with explaining everything away? WHO CARES how Nurse Ratched became a monster? This is INSANE!
— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) September 6, 2017
Finally, answers for all those lingering Nurse Ratched questions that absolutely no one has been asking for the last 40 years. https://t.co/NTpRZEtTVg
— Andrew Barker (@barkerrant) September 6, 2017
Over-explaining supporting characters is a trend that has become all too popular in Hollywood these days. Warner Brothers recently announced they would be telling a Joker origin story, and the notion has also become especially common in horror movies — as we’ve now seen countless, incomprehensible backstories and prequels on characters like Jason or Leatherface that, as a result, make them seem a lot less scary.
Hollywood’s thought process is that if they give beloved side characters their own stand-alone properties, people are going to line up to see it. However, more often than not, this creates a disservice to the character in over-explaining questions that no one was ever really asking. Did we really need to see how Jack Sparrow found his hat and coat in the newest Pirates of the Caribbean film? Really?
What kind of treatment Murphy and Paulson will give to Nurse Ratched remains to be seen. While the two definitely make a good pair, we’re going to remain skeptical for the time being based on Hollywood’s spotty track-record.
In the meantime, watch the full trailer for the original One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest here and then let us know whether you want to see an origin story about Nurse Ratched, which will go into production sometime during 2018, in the comments below.
Also watch American Horror Story every Tuesday night on FX and be on the lookout for news regarding American Crime Story: Season 2.