Variety has confirmed that the season, titled AHS: 1984, will not feature Paulson in a starring role – though she may appear in a smaller cameo at some point during the season’s duration. In the case of Paulson’s complete absence, it would make the season the first to potentially not feature Paulson at all. While she appeared briefly in the show’s first season, subtitled Murder House, she has had starring roles in every additional season since.
Paulson’s hiatus from the show coincides with that of Evan Peters, another long-time American Horror Story cast member similarly beloved by the show’s fans who will be sitting out AHS: 1984.
On Twitter, many mourned their impending absence, with others stating they will not watch the series without the pair. “Ryan Murphy really thinks we’ll be watching AHS without Miss Sarah Paulson? Clownery luv [sic]”, one tweet read, while another read: “So no Jessica Lange, no Evan Peters, and now no Sarah Paulson? This season’s already trash.”
Variety reports that Paulson’s departure may have been due to her schedule. She is currently filming Ratched, Ryan Murphy’s forthcoming series inspired by the infamous One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest character Nurse Ratched, along with the mini-series Mrs America.
Since rising to fame on the series, Paulson has become one of Hollywood’s most in-demand actors, along with an awards show regular. She has appeared in films including Carol, Ocean’s Eight and Bird Box, and is due to appear this year in the adaptation of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, the thriller Run and the animated film Abominable.
AHS: 1984, which premieres in September, remains top secret, but is believed to be a slasher movie-themed season. Emma Roberts, who has appeared in numerous American Horror Story seasons along with Ryan Murphy’s horror comedy series Scream Queens, is so far its only confirmed cast member.
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