Even though fans are only a month away from the new season of American Horror Story, much about the upcoming AHS: 1984 is still a total mystery. But Ryan Murphy and FX have spilled some exciting details about the ’80s slasher-themed season, including a cast reveal and some thematic teasers. And the latest AHS: 1984 cast update gives fans the best idea yet of how the new season will work.
Apparently, AHS: 1984 will not focus on a lead actor, but rather feature a sprawling ensemble cast who all get equal attention. FX Networks chairman John Landgraf dropped this new bit of info to Deadline while at the Television Critics Association press tour over the weekend, adding:
Ryan always has been so good deconstructing genres in a really fun way; this sort of deconstructs the classic summer camp horror trope, and therefore it’s really oriented around a group of young adults.
After Ryan Murphy revealed the full AHS: 1984 cast in a campy teaser, a lot of fans were speculating over which actor might helm the series as the lead role. This guessing game was heightened due to the “final girl” trope prominent in ’80s slasher movies, and most AHS fans guessed that Emma Roberts may be helming 1984 as the sole survivor of whatever twisted murder scheme has been cooked up for the season.
But this new update seems to confirm that AHS: 1984 will turn the “final girl” trope on its head and not focus on one clear lead character. That means all the stars introduced in the cast trailer — Emma Roberts, Gus Kenworthy, Angelica Ross, Billie Lourd, Cody Fern, Leslie Grossman, Matthew Morrison, DeRon Horton, Zach Villa, and John Carroll Lynch — will be equally important in the new season.
Although it upends a classic horror trope, the update about AHS: 1984 should not come as too much of a surprise considering the franchise’s penchant for ensemble casts. Most of the previous AHS season have centered on a large group of main characters, and the few seasons that did seem to focus on one or two leads often held up Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters in those roles.
However, both Paulson and Peters — the only two actors to appear in every season of AHS — are taking a backseat in 1984. Peters will not appear in the new season, and Paulson will have a much smaller role than usual. With AHS‘ two most consistent stars stepping back, it sounds like AHS: 1984 will be spreading the spotlight to its full cast of new characters.
The teaser trailers that have already been released focus on a bunch of campers, but have yet to include any of the main cast revealed by Ryan Murphy. While AHS teasers are famously more thematic than actual scenes ripped from the new season, they do seem to indicate that fans will be meeting a big camp full of interesting new characters in Season 9.
American Horror Story: 1984 will premiere on Sept. 18. on FX.