The Chanels have fallen from grace — but the screaming’s not over.
The Scream Queens cast and writer Ian Brennan teased season 2 of the comedy-horror, set to take place in a hospital three years after the events of the first season at the Kappa sorority house. According to Brenner, the new story will follow Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) to a hospital she purchases with the money she makes from her book — and the murders begin almost instantly. “It’s unclear what her reasoning is [for buying the hospital],” Brennan said. “There’s a bit of a grey area there.”
Not in a grey area: who fans will meet in season 2. New cast member John Stamos will play the head of surgery (“[Munsch] saw my layout in Playgirl, the 10 Hottest Doctors, so that’s how I got it,” he joked) while fellow new addition Taylor Lautner will play a doctor who winds up a prime suspect — well, one of many prime suspects. Colton Haynes is also checking in for the new season. He will play a patient, along with Saturday Night Live star Cecily Strong, whose casting was announced during the panel, which was moderated by EW’s Tim Stack. Zayday (Keke Palmer) is now a med student who joins Munsch out of gratitude for Munsch’s help in season 1. “It’d be much easier to just keep the premise we had, but we knew we wanted to switch it up,” Brennan explained. “It’s within the same world but within an entirely different setting. It’s tricky.”
Even with the three-year time jump and changed location, Hester (Lea Michele) will remain a key player in the story. “I’m not with these guys in the hospital, but we do have scenes together,” Michele teased. “My costume is very comfortable, and I have a fun new accessory to play with this season.” (Spoiler: It’s definitely not a neck brace.) Speaking of new accessories, Munsch may find a robust dating life in season 2. “I think she has a lot of love in her life,” Brennan cryptically teased, to which Curtis responded: “There’s a lot at this table that she can love in her life,” pointing to the rest of the cast to cheers from the crowd. If he had been there, Glen Powell surely would’ve been on the receiving end of those cheers, as well. Despite his Hall H absence, he will, in fact, return as the daft Chad Radwell.
“I think it’s bloodier and funnier,” Brennan concluded about what’s coming next. “I feel like we’re leaning into the creepiness a little bit more, and a little bit more into the comedy as well.” Still, there was one detail the writer remained tight-lipped about. When asked whether the mythology from season 1 will carry into season 2, he said, “I can’t comment specifically. That’s a no comment.” That’s news to both the audience — and the cast, as Curtis raised her eyebrows at her castmates down the panel table.
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The panel didn’t just cover season 2, of course. The cast brought on the laughs throughout the hour with funny moments…:
• Curtis admitted it was hard to understand millennial lingo while working on season 1. “I learned what [Eiffel Tower] meant,” she said, before explaining the term as vaguely as possible.
• In a melancholy moment, Curtis spoke of recreating her mother’s iconic Psycho scene, saying she had already rejected doing it because “I respected her, I miss her… and I always felt that was not something I should participate in” until “I read it in the script and at that moment, I thought about my mom… I thought, she would have loved this show, she would have loved you [the fans], she would have loved Comic-Con. She didn’t get that.” Stamos, though, had a different scene in mind for Curtis to remake: “I would have liked the scene she does in True Lies.”
• Emma Roberts spoke of playing Chanel — who, now broke, will try to retain their glamour in the hospital — and how the Chanels could still be besties. “What I love about the Chanels is that they’re really mean to each other, but they somehow stick together,” she said, to which Abigail Breslin, who plays Chanel #5, immediately responded, “No, they’re always mean to me!”
• While Brennan announced celebrity guest stars who will play patients, Stamos cut in to say they would also have the Olsen twins on board, before quickly shaking his head and admitting, “I can’t even get them on my show!” referring, of course, to Fuller House.
• Yes, Jamie Lee Curtis has heard of how Scream Queens season 2 could potentially echo Halloween 2. “I was reminded that Halloween 2 was set in a hospital, so there’s definitely the trope [of hospitals being scary],” she said. But will the next season feature someone dying in a hot tub? “No comment,” Brennan responded.
Scream Queens returns Sept. 20 at 9 p.m. ET on Fox. Watch our interview with the cast in the EW studio, above.
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