Details about Season 8 of Ryan Murphy's horror juggernaut are scarce, but based on some hints dropped by Murphy and some of the series' stars, we have a pretty good idea of some potential paths the franchise might take.
Here's everything we know so far about Season 8 of American Horror Story:
It will premiere in September. The next installment will debut on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 10/9c on FX.
It will be the crossover season! Ahead of Cult, Murphy teased that one upcoming season of American Horror Story would be a crossover between the Murder House and Coven seasons. However, it appeared as though the anticipated crossover season would have to wait until Season 9 (which has already been ordered by FX) and that Season 8 would tell an entirely new story.
But in mid-June, Murphy tweeted out that Season 8 would be the crossover season, blowing our minds and getting us all riled up for the fall. That means everything Murphy teased about Season 8 (below) could very well be pushed back a season... or it could still apply to the crossover. We simply don't know!
As for what was originally planned for Season 8, Murphy compared it to the tone of two prior seasons, saying, "It's heightened. It's not necessarily as real and grounded as the past season. We're sort of getting back to Asylum, and Coven. That's the tone of it." Will that now be Season 9?
Sarah Paulson will be back with a new look. Murphy's favorite muse, who's appeared in every season of the anthology thus far, has confirmed that she'll return again for Season 8. And based on her "preliminary conversations" with Murphy, Paulson says, there's at least one idea he's considering for the next installment that has her "very excited."
Could it be the new look he's crafting for her? Murphy revealed that Paulson will be wearing dental appliances for the role, which will mark the actress' first major AHS transformation since she played conjoined twins Bette and Dot in Freak Show.
Evan Peters and Kathy Bates will also have prominent roles. In addition to Paulson, Season 8 will feature Peters Bates in leading roles. Peters is an AHS mainstay so his return was expected, but Bates' involvement in Season 8 was a happy surprise. After joining the series in Coven, Bates was forced to sit out Cult due to scheduling conflicts. However, she'll make her triumphant return to AHS for Season 8 where her character will be closely involved with Paulson's. Meanwhile, Ryan Murphy has revealed that Peters' character will be a comedic hairdresser type — a role he teased with an Instagram post -- and that he'll star alongside Joan Collins, who arrives as his grandmother. Anjelica Huston is also in contention for an as-yet-unknown role.
A lot of other players are also returning. After joining the cast for Cult, Billie Lourd is set to return for Season 8. Unfortunately, we don't yet know who she will be playing. In addition, Adina Porter, Cheyenne Jackson, Billy Eichner, Leslie Grossman and Emma Roberts are also expected to appear.
It may be subtitled Radioactive. Fans began speculating that Season 8 would be called Radioactive when a fan account noted that FX's parent company 20th Century Fox reportedly filed a trademark for American Horror Story: Radioactive. Murphy responded to the reports without tipping his hand, saying, "I heard that rumor. Well, that's based on a fact that we've cleared a lot of titles for that show. It's an interesting idea. I can neither confirm nor deny."
It will take place in the near future. Murphy revealed that the season will be set sometime in the future. At first, he left the timeline purposefully obscure, teasing, "I think people will like it, it's different from what we've done before, but I always try and do the opposite of what I've done on that show." He has since revealed, however, that it'll take place sometime in October, 2019, or "18 months from [April 6th, 2018]," which has led some to speculate that it may be set in or around a nuclear fallout shelter of some sort, given the rumored title.
It will premiere in 2018. While we don't have an exact premiere date, Murphy has previously said that he prefers Horror Story seasons to wrap up well before the holiday season, so look for Season 8 to follow in Cult's footsteps and premiere in the fall. Production is expected to begin on the new season on or near June 16th, 2018.
It might have something to do with lust or violence. OK, OK, we know that every season of American Horror Story has something to do with lust and violence, but according to a popular fan theory (which Ryan Murphy loves!), each season of AHS thus far has corresponded to one of the nine circles of hell. Murder House was limbo, Asylum was fraud, Freak Show was greed, and so on. The two that haven't been "used" yet are lust and violence, so it's possible those will play out across Seasons 8 and 9.
It might have something to do with a revolution. Murphy is known for hiding clues in each season about the theme for the next season. In Cult, as some eagle-eyed (and -eared) viewers have noted on Reddit, there have been a number of references to a "revolution" and a "crown." The opening credit sequence also features a statue of George Washington. Is Murphy trying to hop on board the Hamilton train and take us into some dystopian future American revolution? And if so, can Lin-Manuel Miranda please guest-star?
Butte, Montana may factor in somehow. Another moment in Cult that some viewers glommed onto was the repeated references to Butte, Montana after Winter (Billie Lourd) buys Beverly Hope (Adina Porter) a train ticket out of town. Could this be the setting for next season or the hometown of one of its lead characters?
What are some of your theories about American Horror Story Season 8?