Trying to figure out what the new American Horror Story theme will be has become an annual tradition for the show's fandom, but there may be an extra curveball this year. Showrunner Ryan Murphy had been subtly teasing a beachy, waterfront theme for 2020's new season, and eagle-eyed fans had already been putting together theories about haunted coastal towns and sea zombies. But it turns out, that may not happen — at least not anytime soon. The AHS Season 10 theme may change, Ryan Murphy told TheWrap, and his reason offers up another clue as to what the original theme was going to be.
Murphy began teasing the tenth installment of American Horror Story in late February, posting a moody video of waves crashing on a beach as the names of all the actors for the upcoming season were revealed. The cast list confirmed the return of AHS mainstays Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson after both actors sat out of Season 9's 1984, as well as the involvement of several other veterans of the anthology series, such as Kathy Bates, Leslie Grossman, Billie Lourd, Adina Porter, Lily Rabe, Angelica Ross, and Finn Wittrock. The announcement also revealed Macaulay Culkin would make his AHS debut.
The cast announcement clip spurred a ton of fan theories about Season 10's theme, which many believed to be a ghost story set in a coastal town, but now it seems that theme may have to be saved for later. Murphy revealed the production's shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic could make the original idea for Season 10 impossible, because it needed to be shot in specific weather conditions.
A lot of what I was going to shoot was dependent on a very specific moment, it was a weather-dependent show. So now I don’t know. I don’t know what we’re going to do. I don’t know what I’m gonna do next with that show. I don’t know if I’ll accelerate another season or wait till next year to shoot this one.
Murphy's statement reveals Season 10 is even more in limbo than fans may have realized. Since the show apparently requires warm weather and "a very specific moment" related to the summer to shoot, there's a chance the AHS team may not make a new season this year. Then again, Murphy also hinted he may opt to focus on a different theme for Season 10 and save the beachy theme for a later season. Since AHS has already been renewed through Season 13, you can bet Murphy already has other themes in mind anyway.
Even if Season 10's original theme may not happen this year, Murphy went on to say all of the announced cast is still invested in the story, so they should all be back if the season is delayed until next year.