After over a decade on air, American Horror Story is coming back for season 11, and here’s everything we know so far. The American Horror Story 2021 season, its 10th chapter, Double Feature, was split into two sections, the first set at the sea and the second in the desert. Double Feature’s first six episodes in Red Tide followed creatives in a seaside town taking The Chemist’s mysterious black pills that gave them the side effect of a vampiric bloodthirst. However, they would allow talented users unbridled inspiration for their crafts. The final four episodes in Death Valley then featured aliens abducting humans and making a treaty with U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower in which the aliens would be allowed to experiment on thousands of Americans a year in exchange for technological advancements.
Early fan theories about American Horror Story season 10’s sea theme were debunked once Red Tide premiered, though Death Valley (disappointingly) did bring back aliens to the series. Interestingly, both premises had already been the subject of separate American Horror Story seasons in the past. Red Tide made its characters vampire-like bloodsuckers, which are creatures that had been the subject of American Horror Story: Hotel. AHS: Death Valley marked the return of aliens as the show’s theme after season 2, though season 10, unfortunately, had no direct connections to Asylum.
While the American Horror Story 2021 release was highly anticipated, as it saw the return of actors like Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson, the overall season disappointed fans. Red Tide was praised by audiences for its first five episodes being a compelling premise and conflict that called back to the show’s beloved early seasons. However, Death Valley’s underwhelming story was broadly hated. In hopes that the series can redeem itself and truly bring to life an entire season’s worth of potential that Red Tide showed, expectations for American Horror Story season 11 are high. Here’s everything we know so far about season 11, including the release date, cast, and possible themes.
American Horror Story Has Been Renewed For Season 11
Although the backlash around American Horror Story 2021 season 10 may have suggested trouble for the series’ future, season 11 was renewed long before Red Tide and Death Valley even premiered. FX officially renewed American Horror Story through season 13 back in January 2020, so the series will enjoy at least two more installments following season 11. Considering how poorly Death Valley was received, American Horror Story will need to work on returning to what fans genuinely love about the series if it hopes to extend beyond the 13th season. The anthology nature of the show opens up the opportunity for longevity that Ryan Murphy has even teased could extend past 20 seasons. Still, season 11 will need to prove it’s moving in the right direction before that happens.
Predicting AHS Season 11’s Release Date
No official release date for American Horror Story season 11 has been announced, though the pattern of previous season premieres gives a few hints. American Horror Story’s first nine seasons each premiered within a year of its predecessor, with the first five seasons premiering in October and the next four debuting in September. Double Feature marked several firsts for an American Horror Story 2021 premiere timeline, partially due to production delays with the COVID-19 pandemic. American Horror Story season 10 debuted in August 2021, nearly two years after AHS: 1984 premiered in September 2019. If production isn’t halted for season 11 as it was for Double Feature, American Horror Story’s next season could debut sometime between August-October 2022. Since the horror aspect of the series is more appropriate for fall debuts, it would be shocking if season 11 were to premiere past October or before late August.
American Horror Story Season 11 Cast: Which Actors Will Return?
Sadly, it appears Sarah Paulson will not be returning for American Horror Story season 11. Ahead of American Horror Story’s Red Tide finale, Paulson revealed that she expected season 10 to be her final appearance. She’s still leaving the door open if Ryan Murphy approaches her with an especially gripping character, but it’s doubtful she’ll appear in season 11. The cast for American Horror Story’s next season hasn’t been confirmed, but two of the most likely returning cast members are Leslie Grossman and Angelica Ross. Both played crucial roles in Red Tide and Death Valley, with their performances for the former being especially praised.
Other cast members featured in season 10 who will likely return are Lily Rabe, Cody Fern, Billie Lourd, and Denis O’Hare. Many are hoping new AHS fan-favorite Macaulay Culkin will return after his incredible performance in Red Tide, along with anticipation for Evan Peters, Frances Conroy, Kathy Bates, or even Emma Roberts to make an appearance. It’s unknown if Finn Wittrock, who starred as Harry in Red Tide, will return for season 11, considering he’s now playing a lead role in HBO Max’s Green Lantern series.
American Horror Story Season 11 Story: What Will The Theme Be?
Ryan Murphy has yet to announce the official title for season 11, along with reports (via Deadline) that of August 2021, he hasn’t even pitched the story to FX. On the other hand, Murphy has already teased several possible upcoming themes to fans. In April 2021, Murphy posted a semi-poll on Twitter in which he gave six ideas for American Horror Story season themes and asked fans to comment on which one they would be most eager to see. The themes listed were Aliens, Christmas Horror, Bloody Mary, Piggy Man, Sirens, and Plague. Aliens already returned in season 10’s Death Valley, so the other five options seem to be more likely contenders for season 11.
Since Red Tide’s theme never actually included sirens, as fans theorized, season 11 still holds the opportunity to return to an aquatic setting. Additionally, Christmas Horror is a theme that has been teased in American Horror Story: Asylum with Santa serial killer Leigh Emerson and American Horror Stories’ “The Naughty List” episode with Danny Trejo’s killer mall Santa. Ryan Murphy seemed to enjoy putting twists on urban legends in American Horror Stories’ episodes, so Bloody Mary and AHS‘s own Piggy Man are equally plausible choices. Bloody Mary would give the series a chance to better introduce a well-known legend to the show and adequately use the talented female cast. In contrast, Piggy Man would provide much more context on American Horror Story’s existing legend explored in Murder House. Considering the real-life COVID-19 pandemic context that Plague could analyze, this theme for American Horror Story season 11 would be the most timely, similar to Cult in season 7.
Is American Horror Story Season 11 The Last Season?
Since the American Horror Story 2021 release date was changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many were curious if season 11 would be the show’s last. The news that Sarah Paulson might not return also sparked debate, while people wondered if her possible departure marked the beginning of the end for the horror anthology series. Contrary to popular belief, American Horror Story has been renewed for seasons 12 and 13, though it’s unknown if the show will progress beyond that. There’s no official release date for American Horror Story season 11, though as it’s likely to come out in the fall of 2022, there’s also no release date for AHS seasons 12 and 13.
The same thing goes for casting, especially since Sarah Paulson has debated her departure from the hit show. Hopefully, people will get to see the new fan-favorite Macaulay Culkin return. It’s interesting that the cast hasn’t been released for American Horror Story season 11, as the characters for AHS season 10 were made known in February 2020, over a year before the American Horror Story 2021 release date. No details have been confirmed around the theme of American Horror Story seasons 12 and 13, especially since showrunner Ryan Murphy is still keeping season 11 under wraps. It’s unlikely that the show will revisit the double feature aspect, as the concept left people (somewhat ironically) divided down the middle. The episode count also remains unknown, though it has risen season by season. This means that the episode count for American Horror Story seasons 11-13 could be the largest yet.
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