Ryan Murphy is famously tight-lipped about new seasons of American Horror Story, but the creator on Friday leaked a few details about the upcoming eighth season of the FX anthology at an Emmy FYC panel for its most recent season, Cult.
Murphy assumed moderating duties for the panel, which featured stars Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Billy Eichner, Cheyenne Jackson, Adina Porter and Leslie Grossman, making it easy to reveal details that were new — even to his cast. Murphy first informed his six stars that he would answer one yes-or-no question from each of them, but didn't restrict their questioning and even offered information voluntarily when they couldn't think of what they wanted to ask.
Here's what Murphy revealed.
1. All six actors will return for the next season.
While Paulson and Peters confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter on the red carpet that they would be back — which is no surprise, since they're the two actors who have appeared in every season — the others didn't reveal anything until their boss announced on the panel that they would all be back.
2. Paulson and Peters will direct episodes.
In addition to their roles on the series, Paulson and Peters will each make their directorial debuts with an episode of AHS' eighth season.
3. It takes place in the future.
The season will take place in the near future, "18 months from today," Murphy teased, urging fans to look up what might be taking place then.
4. It will be similar in tone to the Coven and Asylum seasons.
Unlike Cult's more grounded story, the next season will be "heightened. 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," said Murphy.
5. Production begins soon.
Filming is set to begin around June 16.
6. Joan Collins will play one character's grandmother.
While Murphy didn't reveal specific information about each character, he did tell Porter that there would be three non-white leads, and he told Peters that he would be playing a comedic role this season. Peters' character is a hairdresser, and Joan Collins will be playing his grandmother. As THR reported in this week's cover story, Murphy confirmed he is in talks with Anjelica Huston for an unspecified role. They join the previously announced Kathy Bates, who is also returning to the franchise after a two-season run on Netflix's since-canceled Disjointed.