Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, and Sarah Paulson are returning, but each will play new roles in the series, which starts filming this summer for an air date in 2013.

Paulson and Peters’ roles are not known at this time, but Lange will play a new “glamour-cat” leading character in the next season. Murphy promises that season three will have a terrifying villain, just like Asylum’s Bloody Face was for this season, but this time it will be a woman. He also teased that the new season will be “funnier” in tone and “more historical in nature.” The show will be set during modern times but will jump between different time periods and other cities.

Murphy had this to say in a statement:

We want to have some new people come in and some [Season 1] people come back. I’m also interested in getting into a horror romance. That’s certainly something that’s going to be in the water for season three. You’re going to see a very different tone in season three, but that’s the joy of the show. I think as a person right now I do feel lighter and wanting to embrace something a bit more fun. 

While Murphy might not be ready to unveil what Season 3 is going to be about just yet, he did spoil some elements of the show during a Q&A session with reporters. He still hasn’t pitched the season’s story to FX yet, but he and the writers are getting to work on the new episodes starting Jan. 21. Here are some important things Murphy’s already decided about the third installment of his hit FX horror miniseries:

american horror stiry season 3

Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters are officially returning
First off, Murphy confirmed that two recurring actors beyond Lange are coming back: Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters. “I know who Sarah Paulson’s playing. She does not,” Murphy said. As for Peters, Murphy joked that “next year he’ll probably go back to be a sobbing psychopath.” They aren’t the only two actors who will return, either. “I will say that for Season 3 we will have some actors from Season 1 who will return,” Murphy said. “I like that idea and I know that those actors are interested in coming.” Beyond that, some new people will be introduced as well.

Season 3 won’t be about aliens
“I think I’m done with aliens,” Murphy admitted when asked if that story arc is over entirely in “Asylum.” That’s not to say he didn’t like that element of Season 2, though. “I thought the alien stuff was interesting because I always thought it was so metaphoric and like take it or leave it,” he added. Still: “There will be no aliens [in Season 3].”

It will be funnier than Season 2
If you thought “Asylum” got a bit too dark, don’t worry that Season 3 will go even darker. Murphy promised that the next 13 episodes of “American Horror Story” will have a lot more of Season 1’s levity in them. “I really missed that kind of Jessica Lange as Constance stuff, and I know she missed it too,” he said. Not only will it be funny, but Murphy also said Season 3 will be “more fun” than “Asylum.”

It will take place in more than one city
It seems as though Season 3 won’t be as stuck to its setting as Seasons 1 and 2 were. While Season 1 was tied to Murder House and Season 2 spent the majority of its time in Briarcliff, Murphy said that Season 3 will be set in “a mixture of several cities.” As for what they are, your guess is as good as ours.

Though it is set in the modern-day, it will also jump time periods
Murphy revealed that Season 3 will be set in the modern-day and will be about another subject that he’s “obsessed with.” Still, it wouldn’t be “American Horror Story” if it didn’t flit between time periods, and Murphy said the style of jumping eras would be similar to how it was used in Season 1. “I love that,” he said, teasing, “What Season 3 is about is more historical in nature.”

Season 3 will be about “female power” 
Though the show has had a split of male and female characters, “American Horror Story” has always seemed to have a woman at its core. In the first miniseries, it was Connie Britton‘s Vivien Harmen and in “Asylum” it was Sarah Paulson‘s Lana Winters — not to mention Lange’s Constance Langdon and Sister Jude — so expect Season 3 to follow that trend. “It’s really about female power,” Murphy said of this season’s central subject. “We do have a great icon [like Bloody Face this season], and it’s a woman.”

Jessica Lange will have “the best designer gowns ever”
By the end of “Asylum,” Lange was sick of wearing a nun’s habit, and she made sure Murphy knew it. That’s why she made Murphy promise to give her “the best designer gowns ever” in Season 3. “She’s going to play a really glamor cat sort of lady,” he said. As for whether “American Horror Story” will have another song-and-dance sequence like the one in “The Name Game,” Murphy joked, “Always with her now.”

Season 3’s star-crossed lovers won’t be restricted by age
Murphy has said that he wants Season 3 to have a “Romeo and Juliet”-style romance like Season 1 did with Tate and Violet, but that doesn’t mean the Romeo role will automatically go to Evans again. In fact, Murphy joked it could be Lange who gets that storyline, so romance likely won’t only be for the kids this time around. “What I meant by that is, yeah, there’s going to be a definite return to a youth element, which I really liked in Season 1, but I liked the star-crossed lovers from different tracks thing,” he said.

Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon is going to have a bigger role
If you are a fan of the direction in “I Am Anne Frank: Part 2,” “Spilt Milk” and the upcoming “Asylum” finale “Madness Ends,” then you’re in luck. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon is responsible for directing all of them, and Murphy said a deal has been signed for Gomez-Rejon to act as producer-director next season. That means Gomez-Rejon will helm every third episode in Season 3 and also work with the other directors to maintain a visual style. “He’s going to be The Guy for Season 3,” Murphy said.  

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