‘American Horror Story’ season 9 – release date, cast, theme, fan theories and everything we know so far

The FX show is expected to return in 2019

Every season, Ryan Murphy’s award-winning FX horror anthology series American Horror Story manages to delight and revolt fans while constantly reinventing itself. We’ve seen spirits trapped in the purgatory of a haunted house, a terrifying clown on a killing spree and stars Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters and more play multiple roles across multiple timescales.

With American Horror Story: Apocalypse, the eighth instalment of Ryan Murphy’s award-winning FX horror anthology series, came to an end in November 2018, it’s time once again for fans to anticipate what could possibly come next. But what can we expect from season 9? Here’s everything we know so far.

Warning: contains spoilers for the first eight seasons of American Horror Story.

When will American Horror Story season 9 premiere?

The past three seasons of AHS have all premiered on FX in the US in early to mid September, while the first five seasons had October airing dates. Viewers can most likely expect season 9 to premiere in September 2019, running once again until halfway through November.

Season 8 made its debut on Fox in the UK last year on September 27, two weeks after its US premiere, meaning that British fans can probably expect the ninth season to be running a couple of weeks behind again.

What’s the theme?

Murphy and his team are notoriously tight-lipped about season themes until very close to the premiere date, even going so far in the past as producing fake trailers to throw fans off. We found out the theme of Apocalypse in July last year, so expect to not know for sure until the summer.

Until then, fans will be speculating away. One popular fan theory is that all of the seasons are based around the nine circles of hell from Dante’s Inferno: Murder House being Limbo, Hotel being Gluttony, Freak Show being Greed, Roanoke being Anger, Cult being Heresy, Asylum being Fraud and Coven being Treachery. Ryan Murphy added fuel to the theory by sharing it on Instagram, along with the caption: “Interesting”.

If we assume that Apocalypse was Violence (there was a lot of bloodshed, after all), does that mean that the next season will be based around the theme of Lust?

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Some fans have proposed the theory that season 9 could be based around an alien theme, pointing to several supposed clues from Apocalypse (with its references to Alien and 2001: A Space Odyssey) as well as the unresolved extraterrestrial subplot from Asylum.

Will it be a ‘crossover’ season?

Despite being a standalone season in its own right, Apocalypse was also a crossover of sorts, bringing back several key characters from past iterations: the demonic baby Michael Langdon from Murder House (as well as fan favourites Tate and Violet), the witches from Coven and even creepy Mr March from HotelMurphy has said that he “has something really fun planned” for the Coven witches in the future, but that it won’t be for season 9.

If season 9 does indeed complete Dante’s Hell series, perhaps season 10 will be one that brings together each of the nine previous seasons. The finale of season 8 will have rewritten the AHS universe, with Mallory going back in time to kill a young Michael before he could bring forth global catastrophe, only for a new Antichrist to be born in his place. How will this have altered the series timeline?

When does production start?

For previous AHS seasons, filming has usually started in May or June, so we can expect production for season 9 to take on the same timeframe.

Ryan Murphy

Which cast members have been confirmed?

There’s been no official cast announcements so far, but both Sarah Paulson and Billy Eichner look set to return for season 9. Appearing on Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live, both stars admitted that they “know a little” about what will happen on the next season of AHS but weren’t allowed to share any details.

It’s also safe to expect Evan Peters to return too, having been in every season to date. However, he recently cast possible doubt on his future with the series, suggesting that such dark roles take their toll on him personally.

“I’m goofy, I’m silly, I like to have fun. I don’t like to yell and scream. I actually hate it. I think it’s disgusting and really awful, and it’s been a challenge for me. Horror Story sort of demanded that of me,” he told GQ“It’s just exhausting. It’s really mentally draining, and you don’t want to go to those places ever in your life. And so you have to go there for the scenes, and it ends up integrating it somehow into your life.”

Last November, Murphy shared a photo of actors Cody Fern, Finn Wittrock and Darren Criss on Instagram. All three are AHS alumni, Fern making his debut in Apocalypse, Criss in Hotel and Wittrock starring in three seasons to date (Freak Show, Hotel and Roanoke). Could the trio return for key roles in season 9?

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Cooking up something good for these three…

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Apocalypse saw the return of several fan favourites. Murder House’s Connie Britton returned for the first time since season 1, Dylan McDermott appeared for a third season, Taissa Farmiga made an appearance for a fourth season and previous show staple Jessica Lange reprised her role of Constance Langdon, returning to AHS after a four year absence. Will they return for season 9 too?

Has a trailer been released?

Not yet. We didn’t get to see a trailer for Apocalypse until September, so fans might have to wait until much nearer to the premiere date.

How many more seasons will there be?

As well as its upcoming ninth season, AHS has also been commissioned for season 10, despite Murphy recently penning an exclusivity deal with Netflix for future original content.

Murphy’s Netflix deal is said to not affect upcoming AHS appearing on FX and the network boss John Landgraf has stated that the show will run as long as Murphy wants. He told Deadline. “It’s up to how long he wants to keep going and how many years he has inspired ideas.”

Murphy previously told The Hollywood Reporter: “I’ll keep doing it for as long as we have the ideas and the momentum. I really love doing it.”