It may not be official, but this awesome fan-made opening for ‘Hotel’, the upcoming series of American Horror Story got us pretty excited. The FX horror anthology series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk is set to premier it’s fifth season on the 7th October this year, but details have been kept pretty under wraps. Here’s a quick summary of what we know so far about American Horror Story: Hotel.
Late last year, FX confirmed a fifth season of the show, announcing in October that it would be subtitled ‘Hotel’. Network president John Landgraf stated that the season will necessitate a “huge reinvention” for the series with a big cast shake up – but that the new series would be darker in tone than it’s predecessors. Ryan Murphy at this point made it clear that the show would not be following a musical theme – despite more musicians being hinted at the cast, and would be catered towards horror fans. At this point, October 2014, Murphy explained:
“The upcoming season that we’re doing is much more horror-based; it’s much more dark. It’s about a theme and an idea that’s very close to my heart that I’ve always wanted to do that’s a little bloodier and grislier I think than anything that we’ve done before; it’s straight horror this year. Murder House, I thought, was a very primal season because everybody’s great fear is about the bogeyman under the bed in their house, and this feels similar to me in that when you check into a hotel, there are certain things beyond your control… Other people have the keys to your room; they can come in there. You’re not exactly safe, it’s a very unsettling idea.”
On February 25, 2015, it was announced that musician Lady Gaga would be joining the cast, her first major television series debut. Although she apparently hoped to play an ‘evil’ character with musical influence, Murphy argued against having musical numbers in American Horror Story. At the same time, it was confirmed that “Characters from previous seasons will come back and check into the hotel.”
Regarding Gaga’s character, Murphy has teased about her connections to fashion. “When you work with someone like her, you sign up for something that is larger than life and I think that’s what you want,” he said on a panel discussion. “Part of her role involves fashion. You want Lady Gaga to look a certain way. The designers have been coming out of the wood works with looks for her.”
According to an insider, the singer has signed up for three seasons f the show. The insider described her character as a “beautiful, strange – yet sophisticated heiress – knee deep in debt – who runs the hotel and who will do whatever it takes to keep it running”. They also confirmed that there will not be supernatural elements to this season, which will focus on true-life horrors including corruption in politics, cults and secret societies.
It has been hinted that, in a departure from the prior season ‘Freakshow’ which was set in one of the last remaining sideshows of the early 50s, ‘Hotel’ will be set in the present day. There will however be flashbacks to the 70s and 80s. Although unconfirmed, the same source mentions that Jessica Lange, star of the four previous seasons, would appear in the season opening as an older representation of Lady Gaga’s character.
In May 2015, it was announced that Max Greenfield would also be joining the cast. On June 18, 2015, Murphy revealed to Deadline that Denis O’Hare would return. Through Twitter, Murphy confirmed that Finn Wittrock, who played a serial killer on ‘Freakshow’, would return for ‘Hotel’. According to Murphy’s tweet, it appears Wittrock would be involved in a love triangle with Gaga and Bomer.
Murphy has revealed that Emma Roberts will return to the show for the final few episodes. On July 15, 2015, it was announced that Richard T. Jones had joined the cast as Detective Hahn, a homicide detective, for an eight-episode arch. That same day, Helena Mattsson announced via Twitter that she had also joined the series and that she was “getting ready to film some scary stuff”. Series veteran Lily Rabe joined the cast in July 2015, for a role described as a “famous murderer who has stayed at the titular hotel”, making Rabe one of three cast members to appear in all five seasons (with Paulson and Peters). Naomi Campbell was cast in the role of a fashion editor who shares a difficult history with Gaga’s character.
Only a few character names have been revealed though, including Matt Bomer as Donovan, Evan Peters will play Mr March, Sarah Paulson’s character is named Hypodermic Sally and Kathy Bates is Iris.
Principal photography for the season commenced on July 14, 2015, in Los Angeles, California. Creative reasons, not economic factors, was the deciding key for moving the series from Louisiana back to Los Angeles since Hotel ’s story is connected to the city. Murphy revealed a six-story hotel set was being built on the Fox lot. A dummy set of the hotel was built at Comic-Con, showing an art deco style building from the 1920s, inspired by the old Hollywood era.
Although not officially confirmed or denyed by the network, Gaga has revealed the complete episode list and broadcast dates for the show on Twitter. Check it out below.
Despite the absence of leading actress Jessica Lange for most of this season, Ryan Murphy is confident that this will only strengthen the ensemble cast setup. “I think that the thing that’s different about the season is that before we’ve always been very driven by the Jessica Lange character. She was always the lead character,” he told Deadline. “This year, it’s a true ensemble and I think we have more male parts and more male stories. The Wes Bentley part is really big, the Matt Bomer part is really big; Evan Peters and Finn Wittrock are really big.”
Finally, while this doesn’t give us much to go on, we can be assured of plenty of sex in the hotel. During the Comic-Con panel, Paulson assured fans that Hotel is going to be “sexy”. Evan Peters then chimed in, to let them know it’s also going to be “sexual”.
Keep up to date with news on American Horror Story: Hotel on the official Facebook Page.