‘American Horror Story’ season 8 ‘Apocalypse’ – theme, cast, release date and everything we know so far

The show is officially coming back for an eighth series

Each year, American Horror Story is one of the most anticipated TV series around, with fans eager to find out what twisted madness the show’s creators will serve up next. Expect that to be no different with season eight, especially following Cult – a season rooted in the most realistic form of fear in the show’s history. Here’s everything we know about the next series so far.

LATEST UPDATES:

  • First full-length trailer has been released
  • Murder House stars Connie Britton and Dylan McDermott reportedly set to appear in Apocalypse
  • Ryan Murphy Tweets cast photo of Stevie Nicks reuniting with The Coven
  • Angela Bassett has revealed that she doesn’t understand why she’s been left out of season 8
  • Kathy Bates reveals that she didn’t know the “satanist” direction her character was heading in

When is American Horror Story season 8 out?

In past interviews, creator Ryan Murphy has spoken about wanting to wrap up series before the holiday season because he “doesn’t want blood with [his] Christmas ornaments”, and traditionally the show premieres in September. That has now been confirmed to be the case again with American Horror Story season 8 set to air on September 12 in the US.

A UK air date has now been confirmed too and British fans will have to wait a little longer for the new series. Apocalypse will premiere in the UK on September 27, two weeks after the US premiere. It will be broadcast at 10pm on that date on FOX.

What’s the title?

The title has been revealed as being called ‘Apocalypse’. Fans originally thought it might be known as American Horror Story: Radioactive, because that has been tradmarked.

What’s the theme?

Back in July, Murphy posted a screenshot of an Instagram note listing the nine circles of hell. Next to seven of the circles were corresponding series of AHS. The only two left, without series attached to them, were lust and violence. So it seems likely season eight will be centred around one of those two deadly sins.

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Interesting

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Creator Ryan Murphy teased the theme at the Television Critics Association press tour, saying it made the head of FX fall “out of his chair”. 

“I pitched it to [FX boss] John Landgraf today right after his TCA panel, and he loved it, but he’s asked me not to say what it is,” he said of the theme. “I told him and he fell out of his chair with joy. 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.”

Murphy also revealed the next series won’t be set in the past or the present. “All I’ll say about it is I want to go to the future – still topical, but the future, which I’ve never done.” He added that that did not mean the show would be set in space, as Entertainment Weekly reports. At an Emmys panel, Murphy told fans the series would be set “18 months from today” (April 6). He also suggested they should look up what might be happening around that time.

As for tone, he also compared it to two previous runs of the show, saying: “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.”

At Comic Con in July, the artwork was revealed which clearly showed some sort of devil child. Fans think this means it could be a continuation of series 1 and Michael Langdon, the antichrist, could be returning to mark the end of days.

https://twitter.com/saddestfilmgay/status/1020241127293808640/photo/1

Have we seen a trailer?

Yes. The first full-length trailer for the new season has now been released, expanding on some of the scenes shown in previous teasers. A group of characters are taken to Outpost, presumably the coven’s new home. There, Sarah Paulson tells them the “simple” house rules.

“You may never leave the building due to the danger of radiation contamination,” she says. “And no unauthorised copulation – no exceptions.” Watch the trailer below.

A promo for the show also gave in-depth look at the new season. “It’s the end of the world,” it begins before revealing that the characters of Season 1’s Murder House and Season 3’s Coven will be “colliding.”

It shows Evan Peters and Joan Collins on a plane, experiencing turbulence before seemingly crashing. There’s flashes of Michael Langdon, the now grown-up demon-child (played by Cody Fern), with cameos from iconic characters like the Rubber Man, Myrtle Snow and Jessica Lange’s Murder House character, Constance Langdon.

Emma Roberts ends the trailer with an iconic line from her character Madison Montgomery. “I bet you thought you’d seen the last of me,” she says. Fans will remember she spoke that line after she was previously resurrected from the dead. Watch it below.

Producers have also released a very creepy teaser. In it, a baby is seen in an hourglass before it shrivels up and the heart it is connected to via umbilical cord bursts into flames. Elsewhere, a skull is pulled into black water that has previously swalled a gas masked figure. Watch it below.

More creepy teasers have started popping up on the show’s official Twitter page, too. One tells fans: “Don’t let go.” It features a withered black hand reaching for a red baby’s hand. A second was captioned: “Fear the forbidden and sees a pointed fingernail slicing open a pear for two scorpions – one black, one red – to crawl out.

When does production start?

Filming began around June 16, according to Murphy. It seems as if the show is following a similiar timeline to last year’s Cult, which also began production in June.

Is it a crossover season?

Yes! Fans had reckoned season 8 could be the Murder House/Coven link Murphy has hinted at previously and now the creator has confirmed it. On Twitter, he wrote: “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.”

Plans for the crossover will bring together characters from Murder House  which followed the Langdon family who had moved to LA, only to discover they’d bought a haunted house – and the New Orleans witches from Coven. Any further details are currently unknown.

Who’ll be in it?

Series regulars Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters will once again return, as will Kathy Bates – who sat out for American Horror Story: Cult. Paulson and Peters have also been confirmed to direct episodes in the new run.

“Kathy and Sarah Paulson have a lot of great stuff to get to do,” Murphy has confirmed. “So, with Evan Peters, the three of them are the leads this year.”

Kathy Bates

Paulson has appeared on every series of the show so far, and she previously confirmed her return for season 8 in a recent interview. “I have found a home, in the sense that I work for a person who sees me completely, knows my strengths and weaknesses, knows how to push me and keeps throwing me the ball,” she told Adweek of her future on AHS.

She continued: “Why would you leave something that works? This idea of jumping off one thing just to be available in case something great comes by, that’s like leaving your wonderful mate because you think maybe someone more interesting is out there.”

Paulson will play multiple characters in season 8, with Cordelia and Billie Dean Howard both featuring in the series. It is currently unknown whether she will add a new character to that list too.

Emma Roberts has also been confirmed to return as Madison Montgomery, while Murphy has said all of the witches from Coven will make an appearance. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Murphy said: “It’s a season unlike anything we’ve done because there’s a big hook to it. There’s a huge thing that happens in episode five. You will see so many fan favourites return that you’ll feel like it’s The Love Boat. It’s a very high concept.”

At a recent panel, Murphy also confirmed that Billy Eichner, Cheyenne Jackson, Adina Porter, Billie Lourd, and Leslie Grossman would also return. Murphy is also in talks with Anjelica Houston to appear in season 8, while Joan Collins has also been confirmed to have signed up for the eighth series, and she will play Peters’ grandma.

Peters will play a hairdresser, according to the show’s creator. In more vague terms, Murphy has also noted there will be three non-white leads in the new episodes.

It remains to be seen whether the likes of Lady Gaga, Jessica Lange or Angela Bassett will make a comeback to the show after some seasons away.

Lady Gaga – Credit: Press

 

In July, it was confirmed that actor Cody Fern is to play the character of adult Michael Langdon. Langdon was first introduced as a killer baby in Murder House – the show’s very first season.

Murphy revealed the news in a tweet, writing: ‘Excited to announce Cody Fern will be playing the role of Michael Langdon in American Horror Story: Apocalypse. Premiers September 12 on FX.’

The last time Langdon appeared on screens, he was killing the babysitter. Oh joy.

Sarah Paulson has confirmed that Jessica Lange is returning to the horror show for the crossover Apocalypse season; Paulson herself will reprise two of her classic characters in the crossover.

During the TCA press tour on Friday (August 3), Paulson confirmed that Lange will appear in the season’s sixth episode where she will reprise her role as Constance Langdon.

As well as starring in the episode, Paulson will also direct the episode. Paulson also shared that she’d be playing three characters including Venerable, a new role, as well as her Covern character Cordelia and Billie Dean – the psychic medium she played in the Murder House season.

A new tweet from creator Ryan Murphy has revealed more cast members will be returning. Murphy confirmed that Taissa Farmiga, Gabourey Sidibe, Lily Rabe, Frances Conroy will all return. Fleetwood Mac legend Stevie Nicks would also be returning in the new season – and now he’s also shared a cast photo:

Insiders have told The Wrap that Murder House stars Connie Britton and Dylan McDermott are also set to appear in Apocalypse. Representatives for Britton and FX have yet to comment on the reports.

Angela Bassett – Credit: Getty

Angela Bassett, meanwhile, has said that she doesn’t understand why her Coven character Marie Laveau has been left out of the latest season. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Bassett said: “I have [season eight] on my DVR, but I haven’t seen any of it just yet…But I mean, come on. Where’s Marie Laveau? I’m even a little bit in my feelings that Marie didn’t come back.”

Kathy Bates has revealed that she didn’t know the “satanist” direction her character was going in and refused to “pray to satan” when she read the script of the next series. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Bates revelled: “I have to tell you, when I got that script and they had me praying to Satan, I called them down to my trailer and I said, ‘Dudes, I am not praying to Satan. Cody can pray to Satan because he is Satan’

“…But I was quite serious about it because I’m a two-time cancer survivor and I’m not gonna screw around with that! It’s bad enough I have to say ‘Hail Satan’ a couple of times. I know it’s entertainment but I just didn’t want to do it.”

How many more seasons will there be?

The show has already been confirmed for a ninth season. In a past interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Murphy said: “I’ll keep doing it for as long as we have the ideas and the momentum. I really love doing it.” In theory, there could be many more seasons to come.