Will American Horror Story: Freak Show be ultra-dark like the second edition of the hit anthology series, Asylum? Or will it be lighter and more campy like the third go-round, Coven?
FX CEO John Landgraf was asked about the tone of this fall’s Freak Show at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills on Monday, and he said the scripts fall “in between” the last two editions. “Some years it’s going to be big and bright and brash and campy the way Coven is. Other years it’s going to be dark and brooding—like Asylum was. I guess I would put Freak Show half-way in between the two. It’s not quite as brooding and formal and Hitchockian as Asylum, it’s got a little bit more humor and a little bit more camp, but its got a brooding period feel to it also,” he said.
That said, Landgraf noted co-creator Ryan Murphy can sometimes surprise him when he turns in a completed show. “Having worked with Ryan now for 10 years, and I think I’m pretty good at reading scripts, I often don’t fully grasp the tone of what he’s going for until we’ve seen it executed,” he said. “He’s a guy with a specific point of view.”
Freak Show, set to debut in October, is set in Florida in the 1950s, and stars Sarah Paulson, Jessica Lange and Evan Peters. Landgraf added the installment is “going to have a really different look from a design and cinematography standpoint than any of the previous incarnations. The characters are really distinctive, really original, some are really strange, but I think really compelling, I love what I’ve read so far.”