For so many fans, Sarah Paulson is the face of American Horror Story. So, when Ryan Murphy announced an upcoming AHS spinoff series back in May, everyone was left wondering if Paulson would show up or not. After all, Paulson is one of the only actors to star in nearly every season of AHS, so if the new spinoff plans to pull from Murphy's tried-and-true stable of actors, she'd probably be the first choice. While fans don't yet know whether Sarah Paulson will be in American Horror Stories as an actor, she did confirm she will be involved in the new spinoff in a more creative role.
During a virtual panel for Paulson's upcoming Netflix series Ratched, she confirmed to TheWrap she will direct part of the new AHS spinoff, American Horror Stories. "Um, I don’t know if I’m going to be in it, but I do think I’ll be directing it. Can I say that? I can say that. Directing something, not all of them, but something," she said.
From her statement, it sounds like Paulson herself doesn't yet know if she will appear on screen in American Horror Stories, but she will be directing at least one episode of the spinoff series. This will mark Paulson's second time directing within the AHS universe. Her directorial debut was in 2018 for the sixth episode of AHS: Apocalypse, titled "Return to Murder House." The episode was a standout in the show's first and only crossover season, returning to its roots with an episode set within the haunted house that was at the center of Season 1.
Announced at the end of May, American Horror Stories will condense the format of American Horror Story, so instead of each season being about an isolated scary tale, the spinoff will devote each episode to a different plot, the way Black Mirror does it. So far, nothing aside from the episodic structure and Paulson's involvement as a director has been revealed about the spinoff.
This new directing gig is one of many collaborations between Paulson and Murphy. Most immediately, Paulson is starring in the Murphy-produced Netflix series Ratched, based on the villainous nurse from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which will premiere on Sept. 18. She's also set to star in Season 10 of American Horror Story, although the production for that season was delayed until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
FX has yet to announce a premiere date for American Horror Stories and so much about the new spinoff is still being kept under wraps. Fans will just have to keep waiting to see which actors will come on board for the new show, and whether the cast will include Paulson.