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Ryan Murphy Says ‘American Horror Story’ Season 8 Will Return to ‘Tone’ of ‘Asylum’ and ‘Coven’

A mixture of Christmas and Halloween came early this year for “American Horror Story” fans, as co-creator and executive producer Ryan Murphy veered from tradition and announced plans for season eight.

During the final segment of an “American Horror Story: Cult” panel, Murphy shared with the audience and “Cult” cast members Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Cheyenne Jackson, Billy Eichner, Adina Porter, and Leslie Grossman what they can expect from the next season of the FX series. He allowed each cast member and one fan from the Beverly Hills, Calif. audience to ask a yes or no question.

Before the questions began, Murphy already spilled that he comes up with the ideas for each season before Halloween, and that season eight will begin shooting around June 16. He also confirmed that, in addition to Paulson, Peters, Kathy Bates and Joan Collins, the returning cast also includes Jackson, Eichner, Porter, and Grossman. “They don’t have to ask if they’re coming back because they’re all coming back,” Murphy said.

“It is set in the near future,” Murphy said in response to Paulson’s question about the season’s timeline. “I will say it is set 18 months from today.”

He revealed season eight will be more “fantasy inspired” and “heightened.” “We’re sort of getting back to the ‘Asylum,’ ‘Coven’ feeling. That’s the tone of it,” Murphy said.

When Porter inquired about the diversity of the cast, Murphy replied, “I will tell you that three of our leads are indeed minorities.” Earlier, Eichner took a moment to comment about diversity on television and praised Murphy for casting him on the show because of “stereotyping, particularly of openly gay actors in Hollywood.” Eichner continued, “We tend not to be included in conversations about diversity in casting and inclusion and things like that for some reason.”

Murphy gave the most information about Peters’ character. “Your part this year is a comedic part,” Murphy announced to Peters. “You are our comedic and you play a hairstylist.” Joan Collins will be playing Peters’ grandmother, Murphy confirmed.

Before the panel began, the cast also spoke to Variety about the impact of “Cult” and the next projects they are working on.

“Cult” was one of the first shows to include Trump’s presidency as part of its storyline, and Eichner commented on the recent “Roseanne” reboot, which also incorporates the topic. “I think it’s absolutely valid and legitimate to show all kinds of fictional characters — conservatives, liberals, and everyone in between,” Eichner said. “Where I run into a problem is supporting the show when the main person behind it has been tweeting out dangerous lies and falsehoods and wild conspiracy theories that inspire violent behavior which are things that Roseanne [Barr] legitimately did.”

Peters shared a little more information about his character in the upcoming television show “Pose,” which is also on FX and co-created and executive produced by Murphy. He said it involves the ball culture depicted in the documentary “Paris Is Burning” and includes “the largest transgender cast ever.”

“I play Stan, who is intersecting the New York City world in the Trump department, getting a job at the Trump Corporation,” Peters said. “I’ve got two kids and I’m trying to climb the 1980s ladder of success.”

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