Ryan Murphy’s macabre American Horror Story is an enduring source of anxiety and campy thrills for loyal fans of the cult series (which often involves actual cults). The show's most recent season, the ‘80s slasher pastiche 1984, hit screens in 2019, leaving fans with a two-year gap between ghoulish slayings and NSFW sex. Now, Murphy and co. are making up for lost time by dropping not one but two installments of AHS, and they'll be here much sooner than expected.
This July, a spinoff series, American Horror Stories, will hit screens, followed immediately by season 10 of the show. As usual, the shows are shrouded in mystery. Here’s what we know going in.
The spinoff will be an anthology series
As the creative force behind Pose, the upcoming Monica Lewinsky-themed season of American Crime Story and seemingly half the new shows on Netflix, Murphy is a busy man. But he clearly he loves his grisliest creation enough to double down.
Little is known about American Horror Stories’ plot. What we do know is that it will be an anthology series. Each episode will a self-contained story that may or may not connect to the larger lore of the series, which has run the gamut from 2011's Murder House to Coven, Hotel and Apocalypse, sometimes finding connective tissue, other times doing its own thing.
That’s right, American Horror Stories will an episodic anthology spinoff of a series that is itself an anthology.
The series will contain 16 bottle episodes featuring multiple AHS core cast members. That’s led many to speculate the series will include Murphy mainstays Angela Basset, Evan Peters and Taissa Farminga, who were participating in a Zoom call with Murphy when the series was announced.
Sarah Paulson — one of Murphy’s most frequent collaborators — will direct some episodes, according to Deadline. IMDB, which should always be taken with a grain of salt, has Paris Jackson Kaia Gerber listed as cast members.
Said to revolve around American myths, the series is poised to carry on a horror anthology tradition that spans television history, from The Twilight Zone to Tales of the Darkside, Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark, Shudder’s Creepshow and short-lived Quibi’s 50 States of Fright.
AHS Season 10 will be a Double Feature
Each season of American horror story has a different theme, and the upcoming season is no exception. Titled Double Feature, the latest installment will be split into two different tales — one set on land, one at sea.
Which is to say, the anthology spinoff of the popular anthology series will be followed by a 10th season, which itself will be split into two separate stories.
Who’s returning for AHS season 10?
Despite taking place across multiple timelines and genres, Murphy’s series features a recurring stable of actors. In Murphy's world ust because an actor was hacked to pieces by a murder clown in Freak Show doesn’t mean they can’t return to be hacked to pieces by lunatic in Asylum.
Confirmed to return are Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson — both of whom sat season 9 out, much to the dismay of fans —along with Kathy Bates, Billie Lourd, Adina Porter, Angelica Ross and others.
Who is joining the cast?
AHS often scores casting coups, as it did with Lady Gaga in the Hotel season. Double Feature is likely to have some surprises in store to go with its publicly announced new cast members: RuPaul’s Drag Race breakout Chad Michaels and Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin.
Culkin’s the kind of left-field choice fans go nuts for, and marks a rare screen appearance from the reclusive star, who very much seems to be enjoying his early retirement, only occasionally surfacing to parody his early work or perform with his joke band, The Pizza Underground (they play Velvet Underground songs re-written about pizza… it's a thing).
Details on the role are slim-to-nonexistent, though the actor was spotted on set recently in full drag.
According to an interview with E! Last year, Murphy approached Culkin with a unique pitch that he couldn’t resist.
"I said, 'OK, here's the pitch'. And I told them the character and I told him he has crazy, erotic sex with Kathy Bates and does other things. And he paused and he goes, 'This sounds like the role I was born to play.' So, he signed up right then and there."
So while details are slim, American Horror Story’s 10th season will most assuredly still be American Horror Story.
When will the shows debut?
While specific dates haven’t been announced, American Horror Stories will debut on FX in July. Double Feature will end its run on Halloween, so it’s likely the series will begin airing in August.
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