American Horror Story is yet another production that suffered from the ongoing pandemic. It usually debuts around October, but the upcoming tenth season will be set back well into 2021. While no new date has been given, the series was able to begin filming last October in Province Town, Massachusetts. The main issue that production faced was this season’s theme, which is still unknown, requiring very specific weather conditions. It obviously would be available around a certain time of year.
What we know so far is that the season has a coastal town setting, with seems to have nautical influences stemming from the image teasers provided by the creator, Ryan Murphy. Fans were absolutely ecstatic when he took to social media to announce the cast of the upcoming season. The star-studded lineup will include some of the show’s best recurring actors and actresses. It also is the debut of Macauly Culkin, who will be joining returning AHS vets Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Angelica Ross, Leslie Grossman, Billie Lourd, Finn Wittrock, Lily Rabe, Adina Porter, and Kathy Bates.
The addition of Kathy Bates is especially essential to note, as the show’s creator was able to get Culkin to join after pitching “crazy, erotic sex” with the famous actress. Suddenly, rumors began to swirl that the fan-favorite AHS alum may have departed the upcoming season due to health concerns resulting from the pandemic. For those who do not know, Bates is a two-time cancer survivor. She beat ovarian cancer in 2003 and then breast cancer in 2012. Due to the ongoing pandemic, it would make it tough for Bates to work on the project, especially if she would risk contracting the virus.
While these rumors went around for a while they didn’t have any weight to them. It wasn’t until rumors stated that another AHS alum would be joining the cast, who ended up being none other than Frances Conroy. This rumor ended up getting confirmed by Ryan Murphy, who sneakily revealed the casting in a comment from ahsfxnews before it started making the rounds officially.
Now, this is where I think things get interesting. Newcomer Ryan Kiera Armstrong has also joined the series and took to social media to post a lineup of the actors and actresses working on set. It featured a lineup of the. If you take a closer look, Bates is noticeably absent from the line-up. Instead, Conroy has a prominent spot even if she only joined later on. Now many would just assume that her picture wasn’t included, but why would anyone want to hide the fact that they’re working with such an icon. It’s not like they’ve kept her inclusion a secret, especially with her being the reason Culkin joined. Conroy was not present in the initial cast reveal and was only confirmed when rumors began to spread about her involvement. It sparked the theory that perhaps she was brought on board to replace Bates. It would add up with her late inclusion, especially with the production delays.
There is one more piece to this puzzle that was revealed in a teaser reel for FX’s 2021 line-up for the Hulu streaming service. We got a very brief first look at the upcoming season that offers a close look at Conroy. Now, people that have followed the series and the roles she has played might notice it’s quite a departure. Bates and Conroy aren’t far apart in age, so that wouldn’t be an issue if she jumped in for her. What is presented seems to match the kind of role that Bates is known for, especially the hairstyle.
News has dried up on the series, so we won’t know anything for sure until it is officially revealed. Yet, there does seem to be some kind of connection between the rumors and Conroy‘s casting. It would be understandable for Bates to have some health concerns, but nothing was finalized due to the pandemic’s uncertainty. Once they were able to film, they may have decided to move forward without her. Strangely, there has been no mention of her exiting the project, as we’ve seen in some cases in the past. Her role was an essential one in getting Culkin to join, so perhaps she might still be involved. At the moment, it seems to be hinting at her
Instagram Sources: Collider, Boston, Instagram (Tease), Entertainment Weekly, Instagram (Conroy), Instagram (Line up), YouTube