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See who's returning to the cast... and who's not
Theorizing about the next season of American Horror Story is as much a part of the fandom as actually watching the show at this point. Even before Apocalypse ended, viewers were scouring the episodes for supposed clues, trying to guess at what they could mean for the upcoming ninth season.
As theories come together and details are announced, we'll update this story to feature all the latest on the anticipated return of the FX anthology. So check out everything we know so far about American Horror Story Season 9 below.
It will premiere in September. FX announced that the new season of American Horror Story will premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 10/9c.
It's called 1984 -- but maybe not why you think. In the first teaser for the season, which was released in April, we learned Season 9 will officially be called 1984. However, based on the video, it doesn't appear to be a full homage to George Orwell. Instead, the terrifying trailer is an homage to slasher movies, as a young girl runs from a knife-wielding, shaggy-haired man through the woods. The '80s, and 1984 alone, were a great time for slashers, giving us the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street franchises.
And in the second batch of footage, released by Murphy in July, fans got an eyeful of '80s fashion and summer camp couture, so it definitely appears as though Friday the 13th will be a big influence on Season 9.
It's not going to be a sequel season. Although it was rumored that Season 9 would potentially be a continuation of Apocalypse, the Season 8 finale neatly wrapped up most of the lingering questions, putting this theory to rest.
American Horror Story: A Definitive Timeline
A handful of AHS vets will be returning. The first returning star we knew of in 1984 was Emma Roberts, whose appearance was announced in February. Then, in July, Ryan Murphy released the names of several other AHS alums who will be appearing, including Cody Fern, Leslie Grossman, Billie Lourd, and John Carroll Lynch.
But Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters are not. Although Peters has appeared in every season of the show so far, the actor confirmed he would be sitting this season out. Paulson, meanwhile, will reportedly not star in 1984, but there is still a chance that the actress, who has also appeared in every season, will make a cameo in the upcoming ninth.
The new faces joining the cast include Angelica Ross. Poseactress Angelica Ross announced in July that she had joined the cast of 1984. The news makes Ross the first trans actor to secure two series regular roles, as she noted in her celebratory tweet. Olympic medalist Gus Kenworthy will also join the series, playing Roberts' boyfriend, as will Glee's Matthew Morrison, Dear White People's DeRon Horton, The X-Files' Mitch Pileggi, and Shameless' Zach Villa.
The first trailer reveals a killer on the loose. In the official trailer for 1984, friends and aerobics enthusiasts (played by Fern, Roberts, Lourd, Kenworthy, and Horton) head out of town to Camp Redwood for the summer. But on the way, they hit a man and decide to pull an I Know What You Did Last Summer and abdicate all responsibility. However, this was likely a massive mistake because there's a chance that the man they hit was the escaped murderer Mr. Jingles (Lynch), who was involved at a massacre at the camp years ago.
It got a totally tubular '80s remix for the opening theme. When Ryan Murphy shared the 1984 title sequence on Instagram, fans were delighted by the new take on tune that has been haunting their dreams since Murder House. Although the new '80s remix isn't necessarily filled with the spookiest of sounds (unless synths give you nightmares), it is delightfully campy, which is fitting for a season set at a literal camp.
It might, maybe, possibly include aliens. People have been clamoring for an alien or space-themed season since Asylum introduced extraterrestrials into the mix, especially given that we haven't heard a peep about them since. And there were several things in Apocalypse that led to fans thinking Season 9 might be the season that the aliens return: In Outpost 3, The Carpenters' "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" was memorably featured; Venable (Sarah Paulson) referred to the outpost's servants as "the grays," a common nickname for aliens; and Mead (Kathy Bates) sang the same song HAL famously did in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Taken together, these may hint that Season 9 will be alien-centric. And when you combine these with the multiple references to Russia in Apocalypse, some fans believe Season 9 will specifically be Ryan Murphy's take on the space race or even Area 51, complete with Russian spies. However, none of the promos for 1984 even somewhat hint at any extraterrestrial activity. Then again, neither did any of the promos for Asylum...
It won't be the final season. FX has already renewed American Horror Story for a 10th season, so you can rest easy: Season 9 will not be AHS' last, despite Murphy's deal with Netflix.
The Coven witches will return, but not for Season 9. This is a classic case of good news-bad news. Ryan Murphy revealed in December that the Coven witches will return, but that this won't happen in the upcoming installment, sadly. He did promise that they "have something really fun planned" for Season 9, but we know that several fans will just be biding their time until Cordelia (Paulson) and her girls return.
Previous seasons of American Horror Story are available to stream on Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix.