The theme of American Horror Story’s upcoming sixth season is still undecided, but executive producer Ryan Murphy revealed at PaleyFest on Sunday night that they’re mulling two different ideas that they will decide upon soon.
“The interesting thing about this season is we’ve been working on two ideas at once, which we’ve never done,” Murphy said at the closing night panel, which was moderated by EW’s own Tim Stack. “I don’t want to say what it is, but I will tell you that every darling person up here that wants to come back can come back.”
Cast members in attendance Sunday included Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Denis O’Hare, Angela Bassett, Matt Bomer, Wes Bentley, Cheyenne Jackson and Finn Wittrock. It’s been previously reported that Paulson, Bassett, and Lady Gaga are among those likely returning.
“The show has always felt to me like an opera,” Murphy continued. “Both things that we’re writing right now, we haven’t yet declared the winner, will have a different form than we’ve ever done, so we’re excited about that. We’ll talk about it soon, but we haven’t landed on it.” The one tidbit Murphy teased: When asked about including younger actors in Hotel, the EP said both potential ideas include children.
Though there initially were rumors that the sixth installment would focus on Slender Man, a tall, mythical figure with a blank face and stretchy limbs that stalks children, a source previously told EW those rumors were “not true.”
Whatever the sixth season may hold, it will follow in the footsteps of Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show, and the most recent installment, Hotel, all of which are interconnected. “The deeper that we go into the series — hopefully we’ll last decades and decades — you will see that there’s a definite universe and all the worlds are collided, sometimes in a very bizarre, interesting way,” Murphy said, recalling Paulson playing both Billie Dean Howard from Murder House and season 5’s Sally McKenna in an episode of Hotel. “You will be seeing more and more of that as we go along.”
Should the series go on for decades and decades, O’Hare pitched a future season: American Horror Story: Retirement Home.
American Horror Story is expected to debut in the fall.