“She’ll Be Back”: Ryan Murphy Hints at Jessica Lange’s Return to ‘American Horror Story’

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Notably absent from the upcoming season of American Horror Story: Hotel is AHS veteran Jessica Lange — who’s been the central force behind every season thus far. This year, the role of the lead, glamour-corrupted matriarch went instead to Lady Gaga, who’ll play the proprietor of the titular hotel. According to Entertainment Weekly, Lange’s departure came from a desire to focus on theater, which she’s now doing in the also-Murphy-produced Broadway play, Long Day’s Journey Into Night. So, with the two still working together in some capacity, Murphy spoke to EW with confidence in Lange’s eventual return to the series.

“She’ll be back,” he said — and you can’t get a much more confident statement than that. He says that the two of them are talking about working with her play schedule to make way for her eventual return. “She wants to come back; we just have to come up with something.”

Since there may be two seasons of American Horror Story in 2016, the opportunities for a return in the near future seem bounteous. Hopefully, if she does return, they’ll be able to cook something up that’s not quite as abundantly similar to her previous roles as Freak Show‘s Elsa was to Coven‘s Fiona Goode. Lange can clearly do just about anything as an actor, and in a show where the cast technically gets to switch roles every season, it’d be great if her return gave her the room to flaunt her versatility a bit more — and “versatility” doesn’t just mean singing Lana Del Rey and David Bowie karaoke.

In the meantime, we have this to look forward to on October 7: