The only thing Ryan Murphy is better at than storytelling is deceiving. Which makes figuring out the details of his latest projects a real, well, project.
While the producer is usually extremely cagey about what lies ahead for his and Brad Falchuk’s FX anthology series “American Horror Story,” he has slowly, but surely, begun to drop more hints about Season 8 aka “Apocalypse.”
Though everything with Murphy could be a fake out or a misdirect, here are the few things about the next installment we are semi-positive are possibly true. Maybe.
1. It is set in the future
At a pre-Emmy voting “for your consideration” panel in April, Murphy told the audience the season was set “18 months from today” — so Oct. 6, 2019, if he was to be taken literally. (Back in January he said it would be set 10 to 20 years in the future, but fine, still the future.)
2. The theme is the end of the world — at least, as we know it
As the title — revealed last month — more than hints at, this season is about the apocalypse.
“The story begins with the end of the world and then our world begins,” executive producer Alexis Martin Woodall told reporters during the Television Critics Association press tour earlier this month.
Murphy previously said the season begins in a “very tangible and familiar place.” But Woodall added that, “if we’re still here, the world didn’t totally end.” So make of that what you will.
3. It’s the crossover to end all crossovers
In June, Murphy revealed the Season 8 would be the eagerly-anticipated “Murder House” (Season 1) and “Coven” (Season 3) crossover installment. The news came as a shock to fans, as the series’ creator previously said the mashup was slated for Season 9.
“The Coven/Murder House AHS crossover season won’t be happening next year…because it’s happening THIS YEAR. AHS #8 WITCHES RULE THIS SEPTEMBER,” Murphy tweeted.
4. “Apocalypse” includes more than a few of the usual suspects
It would honestly be easier to list which “American Horror Story” alums aren’t coming back for the upcoming season, but we’ll try not to die of exhaustion while counting off those who have been confirmed to be making an appearance: Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Kathy Bates, Emma Roberts, Billie Lourd, Connie Britton (whose return was exclusively reported by TheWrap), Dylan McDermott, Taissa Farmiga, Billy Eichner, Leslie Grossman, Adina Porter, Cheyenne Jackson, Gabourey Sidibe, Lily Rabe, Frances Conroy and Stevie Nicks. Oh, and…
5. Murphy got Jessica Lange to come back
Yes, the “AHS” queen is returning following her departure from the franchise after Season 4 aka “Freak Show” — despite the fact she’d previously said she was done with the series.
“I do have the great pleasure of letting you all know that, yes, she will be back,” Paulson told TheWrap during the TCA press tour earlier this month. “Jessica will be returning as Constance in an episode I’m going to direct.” Lange will guest star on Episode 6.
“AHS” fans started to clamor for a Lange comeback (even more than they usually do) when Murphy broke the news in June that the upcoming season would be the highly-teased mashup. Suspicions that the actress was returning reached a peak when Murphy announced that he had cast “Assassination of Gianni Versace” breakout star, Cody Fern, as an adult Michael Langdon.
Why? Because in “Murder House,” Michael was one of the two twins Vivien (Britton) died giving birth to after being raped by Tate (Peters). Tate’s mother, Constance, adopted his demonic offspring, who was last seen giggling as a toddler, covered in blood, after murdering his babysitter in the Season 1 finale.
6. There is room for some newcomers
Fern is a fresh face, as is Joan Collins, who has been confirmed as another lead this season, marking her first trip into Murphy-land. Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman and Kyle Allen have also joined in recurring roles.
7. There are more than enough parts to go around
With “Apocalypse” being a giant crossover and Murphy known for using the same cast of character throughout the franchise’s previous seven seasons, many alums are reprising their roles from “Murder House” and “Coven” — and even adding additional parts to their repertoire.
Paulson will be playing three characters. In addition to reprising her role as the “Coven” headmistress Cordelia Goode and “Murder House” medium Billie Dean Howard, Paulson will also be introducing a new character named Venable.
Britton and McDermott are returning as “Murder House” couple Vivien and Ben Harmon, with Farmiga set to come back as both their daughter Violet, and her “Coven” character, teen witch Zoe.
Peters will be reprise his role as the disturbed high school shooter turned ghost, Tate, from “Murder House” and also play a “comedic” hairdresser, with Collins portraying Peters’ grandmother, according to Murphy.
Roberts, Sidibe, Rabe, Conroy and Nicks are all coming back as their “Coven” witches.
Alums who we currently know are playing all new parts include, Grossman (Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt), Lourd (Mallory), Porter (Dinah Stevens) and Bates (Miss Meade).
8. The anthology series is going back to its roots
Unlike the realistic (well, as realistic as Murphy ever gets) “Cult,” the next installment will be “heightened,” Murphy said in April. “It’s not necessarily as real and grounded as the past season. We’re sort of getting back to ‘Asylum’ and ‘Coven.’ It’s that tone. That’s the tone of it,” he said, referencing Seasons 2 and 3, respectively.
9. A few leads will take their turn behind the camera this season
Paulson and Peters will be directing “Apocalypse” episodes, with Paulson helming Lange’s return in Episode 6.
10. It’s a giant tease
Release the trailer already, FX! Geez. While a slew of teasers have been dropped for “Apocalypse,” no official trailer has been unveiled and at this rate, we’re not sure if there will be one.
11. The end of days is coming soon
“American Horror Story: Apocalypse” premieres Sept. 12 at 10/9c on FX.