NME Festival blog: ‘American Horror Story’ season 8 – theme, cast, release date and everything we know so far

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.

When is American Horror Story season 8 out?

American Horror Story season 8 will air in 2018. A final date has yet to be confirmed. 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”, so an air date in September 2018 or before seems likely.

What’s the title?

The title remains under wraps for now, but it has been reported that the name American Horror Story: Radioactive has been trademarked.

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.

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.”

Have we seen a trailer?

Not yet.

When does production start?

Filming will begin 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?

There’s no official confirmation as to whether season 8 will cross over with any previous season, but fans reckon it could be the Murder House/Coven link Murphy has hinted at previously. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly last year, he said he had already been “going to actors from both of the seasons, quietly, saying, ‘I think in this window, if you could fit us in…’”

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 brought 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.”

At a recent panel, Murphy also confirmed that Billy Eichner, Cheyenne Jackson, Adina Porter, 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 one of the characters’ grandmas.

The only other confirmed character so far is Peters’. He 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.

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 theor sey, there could be many more seasons to come.


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