Ryan Murphy has been predictably cryptic about his plans for the next season of American Horror Story, but he has given us some hints. To sum it up, the next season will take place in 1950 and will either be filmed in New Orleans (again) or Santa Fe, New Mexico. Jessica Lange will be back (probably for her final season) and she might be playing a German woman. Based on that information, we've come up with some probable ideas about the next season. Without further ado, we give you theories.
- Theory 1: It's set at a traveling circus. One of the favorite fan theories is that Murphy will do a circus-themed season. It's clear from the other seasons that Murphy loves writing for characters who are physically different (can you image the field day American Horror Story would have with sideshow acts?), and a circus seems like great fodder for him. Allegedly, Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey did go through New Orleans on a 1950 route. Couldn't you just picture Lange as a ringmaster?
- Theory 2: It's about the Stamm kidnapping. Murphy has stated that the next season is a period piece and to look at what happened in 1950 historically. If they do end up filming in Santa Fe, one possibility is that it will be about a bizarre kidnapping that took place there that year. An obstetrician kidnapped a wealthy family's 9-year-old and held her for ransom money to buy a fancy house with. Santa Fe residents were shocked that a respected doctor had executed such a plan, given that she seemed perfectly normal.
- Theory 3: It's about the building of the hydrogen bomb. Much of New Mexico was ground zero for the early development of nuclear research because the area wasn't highly populated. What if something went horribly wrong? There could be mutants involved! Plus, Lange as a German spy!
- Theory 4: Jessica Lange is Marlene Dietrich. Murphy isn't shy about his love affair with old Hollywood glamour, and it's likely Lange could play an aging starlet. Based on the German accent, we're thinking Marlene Dietrich, who starred in 1950's Stage Fright and a 1952 western called Rancho Notorious. Supposedly Dietrich was obsessed with youth — a character trait Lange knows how to play well thanks to Coven — and her career was at its height during the Red Scare of the 1950s. We've already seen our fair share of witches, but McCarthyism and the Communist witch hunt of the '50s would be quite an interesting setting for a horror story.
- Theory 5: It's about the aliens at Roswell. Just because they might be filming in Santa Fe doesn't mean that's where it has to be set. The new season could be about a 1950 UFO crash in Roswell, NM. Roswell is forever associated with extraterrestrial activity, and though Asylum touched on aliens, a whole season dedicated to them would be pretty awesome.
— Additional reporting by Ryan Roschke