Last week, American Horror Story co-creator Ryan Murphy held a killer screening of the final episode of season two of his hit FX show. This was accompanied by a Q&A session to pick the show runner’s brain. Topics ranged from violence in film and television, the ending of season two, what’s in store for season three, and the feature length horror film he’s got in the works.
Murphy had previously stated that the finale would unfold as a documentary interview, highlighting Lana’s life after breaking free from the Asylum. He also hinted you should keep tissues handy, as the episode will likely have you reaching for them. He wasn’t kidding. The season two finale episode entitled “Madness Ends” does an excellent job of bringing closure to the various storylines, while also bringing a sense of justice for the viewers. It’s clear this season’s characters had a very clear journey to undergo, one that weighed heavier on the actors as it dealt with the unwavering strength of the human spirit and hope for the future.
There was a clear shift in Asylum, one that isolated the characters and became less about the house as an entity and more about it in terms of a tool to oppress the sick, unfortunate and insane. Instead of holding the souls of the dead hostage, this season the house jailed the spirit of the living, giving it an interesting and refreshing spin.
However, don’t start hoping that season three will return a storyline similar to that of season one. Murphy explained that season three will continue to be self contained, but this time take us through not only various time periods, but also cities. He also confirmed that fan favorites Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters will be returning to the show in some capacity.
When asked which actors not already associated with the show may show up in season three, Murphy remained tight lipped. However, he hinted that the already respectable list of actors associated with AHS will become even more elite because it seems a list of former Oscar winners indicated interest in working on the show next season. This is all due to Lange, whom Murphy calls an uncredited producer on season three, as she’s been recruiting people she would like to work with on the show.
Murphy went on to say we shouldn’t expect to see Jessica Lange in anymore makeupless frumpy frocks because next season she’ll be donning the most elegant designer gowns, calling her character a “glamour cat.” Which can only be highlighted by the fact that next season will be extremely “female-centric” adding that the iconic monster won’t be faceless this time around; she’ll be a woman.
Season three will also return to the Romeo & Juliet love story, a la Violet and Tate, that was a real fan favorite in season one. Additionally adding that season three will be much more lighthearted and fun in comparison to the dark and foreboding nature of Asylum. Still, this isn’t all Murphy has in the works when it comes to horror. He’s currently working on a feature length horror film set to begin filming in the spring based on his childhood affection for the movie The Town That Dreaded Sundown. He’ll be working with Paranormal Activity producer Jason Blum, and Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, the director responsible for some of the most iconic American Horror Story episodes including “Spilt Milk,” “I Am Anne Frank (Part II),” and the season two finale “Madness Ends.” He also added that Gomez-Rejon will take part in all parts of season three, as he’s been hired to direct every third episode, as well as serve as a producer throughout the entire season.
Murphy, who’s recently become a parent, also talked about the levels of violence in the American Horror Story franchise explaining that the Sandy Hook shootings really resonated with him. He also pointed out that a key part in season one was a school shooting, which was carefully filmed and unfolded within the story in a responsible manner. However, the storytelling remains at the forefront of Murphy’s vision adding, “I do feel that if you’re going to tell a story with a gun, take a step back and think about it.”
Which makes sense because realistically, American Horror Story is less about monsters and murders, and more about taking viewers on a journey about how the human spirit reacts to the savagery of daily life, both imagined and real.