American Horror Story: 1984 is fast approaching.
As the world’s favourite horror anthology series prepares to return for another season later this year, we’ve scoured the internet for every juicy bit of information on the horrific scenes creator Ryan Murphy will be bringing to our small screens.
From the ever-elusive theme, to which famous faces will be returning, to the expected premiere date, you can find out everything you need to know about American Horror Story season nine below.
When is it airing?
American Horror Story typically airs around Halloween ever year – which makes sense, given the show’s spooky content – and this year is no exception. The highly-anticipated follow-up to Apocalypse will premiere on FX in the US on 18 September.
As for UK audiences, there’s no official premiere date yet, but last year’s Apocalypse began airing on FOX in the UK two weeks after it began in the US, so we’re expecting a similar time schedule for 1984.
What’s the theme this year?
Fans usually spend months trying to decipher what the theme of a new American Horror Story season could be, but we were told pretty early on that season nine will be sub-titled 1984.
“In the summer of 1984, five friends escape Los Angeles to work as counselors at Camp Redwood. As they adjust to their new jobs, they quickly learn that the only thing scarier than campfire tales is the past coming to haunt you,” reads an official synopsis.
American Horror Story is rarely this literal. Perhaps we are getting a straight-forward horror season, but given how much creator Ryan Murphy loves to pull the rug from under viewers’ feet, we wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a twist or two in store.
Many fans have noted that the new season shares its title with George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984. Themes of propaganda and government surveillance could work very well under American Horror Story’s signature macabre lens.
Others have pointed out that 1984 is the year several horror classics were released, including Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter, Children Of The Corn, and perhaps most notably the first A Nightmare On Elm Street movie. Could they have an influence?
We’ve rounded up five of the best fan theories on what 1984 has in store for us, which you can check out here.
Who’s starring in it?
One of the biggest questions American Horror Story fans have each year is: Will my favourite actors be returning? It’s not surprising, given the amount of talent (and high-profile stars) the show consistently brings to our screens.
The first bit of information fans received is that Emma Roberts, who previously played witch Madison Montgomery in Coven and Apocalypse, will be returning, and that Olympic freeskier Gus Kenworthy will be playing her boyfriend.
Since then, it’s been confirmed via a pretty epic 80s-themed cast reveal that Emma and Gus will be joined by previous American Horror Story stars Billie Lourd, Cody Fern and Leslie Grossman.
There are several newcomers, too, as Matthew Morrison (Glee), DeRon Horton (Dear White People), Zach Villa (Honeyglue) and Angelica Ross (Pose) will star. Ross makes history as the first trans woman to secure two series regular roles on television.
As for those epic A-list appearances we get each season (Lady Gaga and Stevie Nicks being highlights), there’s no word on who might be starring this year, but we’re expecting some big names.
Who’s not returning?
Here comes the bad news… fan favourite Evan Peters will not be returning for American Horror Story season nine.
After eight seasons of playing some of the most iconic characters in the show’s history, including Tate Langdon in Murder House and Kai Anderson in Cult, Evan is taking a “sabbatical” from the show, making this the first year he’s not present.
“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 said earlier this year. “It’s hurting my soul.”
Brace yourself for more bad news: It’s also been confirmed that Sarah Paulson will not be appearing in 1984.
The American actress has starred in every season of the critically-acclaimed horror series, and has received widespread praise for her work on the show, garnering five Emmy Award nominations and two wins at the Critics Choice Television Awards.
Another star who won’t be making an appearance is Billy Eichner. After starring in Cult and Apocalypse, the comedian told fans on Twitter that he’ll be sitting this season out. We’re assuming by default that Jessica Lange won’t be back, either.
Is there a trailer?
After sharing a string of teasers that introduced fans to Camp Redwood and a generic-looking slasher-movie villain, American Horror Story finally released the first official trailer for 1984 at the end of August, and it looks terrifying.
As previously teased, the upcoming season will be set at a 1980s summer camp, and clearly takes inspiration from iconic slasher movies like Sleepaway Camp and Friday The 13th as a murderer known as Mr Jingles is on the loose from an asylum.
“I got a gig as a councillor at a summer camp they’re opening up a couple of hours from here, you guys should all come,” says Cody Fern’s character to his group of friends – no doubt leading them all to their doom – in the first full-length trailer.
Just like the majority of the show’s promotional material, it’s wise to treat this trailer with a bit of suspicion. Early teasers and posters for American Horror Story are usually ambiguous, with the final product often having surprises in store.
American Horror Story: 1984 premieres 18 September on Fox in the US.