The ‘AHS: Apocalypse’ Cast Unites Fan-Favorites With Franchise Newcomers In The Splashiest Season Yet

These days, it really feels like the world could end at any moment, doesn't it? Well, Ryan Murphy is capitalizing on those end-of-the-world fears with his new season of American Horror Story — and he's pulling out all the stops to do it. The AHS: Apocalypse cast is the most star-studded ensemble of the anthology series to date, blending recent AHS stars with returning veterans and franchise newcomers.

The upcoming eighth iteration of the anthology has long been billed as a Murder House-Coven crossover, and it more than lives up to that branding: fans will be treated to plenty of familiar faces from those two seasons, including actors who haven't appeared on the show in six or seven years. But the trailer for Apocalypse revealed that there's more on Season 8's mind than a mere mashup of those two fan-favorite seasons. There's also a bevy of new characters for viewers to get to know, plenty of actors from more recent installments like Roanoke and Cult, and some dazzling big names on display like one legendary British dame.

Even though Apocalypse doesn't quite boast the entire roster of current and former AHS cast members, it comes close enough to play like a who's-who of the show's biggest stars. Here's who you can expect to make an appearance during the end times:

1. Sarah Paulson

Kurt Iswarienko/FX

Previous seasons: Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show, Hotel, Roanoke, Cult

One of only two actors to have appeared in every season of AHS to date, Emmy-winner Paulson won't break that streak just yet. In fact, she's upping the ante for Apocalypse, appearing as not one, not two, but three different characters, according to the show's official site: her Murder House psychic Billie Dean Howard, her Coven Supreme Cordelia Foxx, and new Apocalypse character, Ms. Wilhemina Venable (who, from the trailer, appears to be the leader of a post-apocalyptic devil-worshipping cult).

2. Evan Peters

Kurt Iswarienko/FX

Previous seasons: Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show, Hotel, Roanoke, Cult

Along with Paulson, Peters is the franchise's most consistent player. This time around, FX reveals that he'll be playing a character named Mr. Gallant, a bleach-blond member of Wilhelmina's cult. But according to a set photo posted on Ryan Murphy's Instagram, Peters could also be making an appearance as his ghostly Murder House character, problematic dreamboat Tate Langdon.

3. Lily Rabe

FX Networks/YouTube

Previous seasons: Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show, Hotel, Roanoke

Rabe has had a role, large or small, in every season of AHS except for Cult. Fortunately, she returns after her one-season hiatus — presumably to reprise her Coven role as Misty Day, the would-be Supreme who was last seen crumbling into ash after failing to escape her own personal hell. Just how Misty will return to this mortal plane remains to be seen.

4. Frances Conroy

FX Networks/YouTube

Previous seasons: Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show, Roanoke, Cult

Like Rabe, Conroy has only missed one iteration of the anthology, Season 5's Hotel. A quick glimpse of her in the trailer confirms who exactly she'll be playing: there's no mistaking that red wig and those horn-rimmed glasses for anyone other than the iconic Myrtle Snow, head of the Witches' Council. Like Misty, Myrtle perished in Coven when she was burned at the stake ("Balenciaga!"), so her return here is something of a mystery.

5. Jessica Lange

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Previous seasons: Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show

Two-time Oscar winner Lange was the headliner of the first four seasons of AHS, and the show has arguably never been the same since she left. Fortunately, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Lange will make her grand return to the series for Apocalypse — presumably as her Murder House character, Constance Langdon (rather than her Coven character, Fiona Goode), since Constance's adopted son, Michael (aka the Antichrist) will be a central figure in Season 8. (More on him in a bit.)

6. Kathy Bates

Kurt Iswarienko/FX

Previous seasons: Coven, Freak Show, Hotel, Roanoke

According to FX, Bates' character is named Miriam Mead, and she appears to be operating as something like Wilhelmina's second-in-command. But will Bates also reprise her Coven role as Madame Delphine LaLaurie? It would only make sense to bring Bates' first-ever AHS character back for this Murder House-Coven crossover, but fans will have to wait and see.

7. Emma Roberts

FX Networks/YouTube

Previous seasons: Coven, Freak Show, Cult

"Surprise, b*tches!" Or perhaps it's not that much of a surprise that Roberts would be resurrecting her Coven character, Madison Montgomery, for a Coven crossover event. But how will Madison return? In Season 3, the character was killed twice: first by Fiona and then by Kyle. But never bet against Madison, who is bound to make another glorious comeback in Season 8.

8. Gabourey Sidibe

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Previous seasons: Coven, Freak Show, Hotel

Unlike Misty, Myrtle, and Madison, Sidibe's Queenie actually survived the events of Season 3... only to be murdered two seasons later when she checked into the Hotel Cortez. But Murphy included Sidibe's name in a tweet listing the returning Coven cast members, so it appears that her human voodoo doll will somehow be revived along with the rest of her fallen cohorts.

9. Cheyenne Jackson

Frank Ockenfels/FX

Previous seasons: Hotel, Roanoke, Cult

Jackson hasn't been seen in any of Season 8's promotional material thus far, but The Hollywood Reporter reported his casting back in April. Will he be reprising his role as Hotel owner Will Drake? As Roanoke producer Sidney Aaron James? As Cult therapist Dr. Rudy Vincent? Or will he be appearing as a brand new character? Stay tuned.

10. Adina Porter

Kurt Iswarienko/FX

Previous seasons: Murder House, Roanoke, Cult

Porter, who briefly appeared in Murder House before joining the AHS cast full-time in Season 6, returns for Apocalypse as a character named Dinah Stevens, according to FX. But is Dinah a devoted member of Wilhelmina's cult? Or a terrified captive in her bunker?

11. Taissa Farmiga

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Previous seasons: Murder House, Coven, Roanoke

Hot off her starring role in horror hit The Nun, Farmiga will return to her Horror Story roots in Apocalypse. Murphy has teased her return both in reference to Murder House's Violet Harmon and Coven's Zoe Benson, so it's likely that Farmiga will be pulling double duty for Season 8.

12. Dylan McDermott

Screengrab/FX

Previous seasons: Murder House, Asylum

McDermott appeared in two seasons of AHS, guest starring in Asylum as Bloody Face's son; but of course it will be his Murder House role as haunted homeowner Ben Harmon that the actor will reprise for Season 8, as Variety revealed last month. And where there's a Dylan McDermott, there's bound to be a...

13. Connie Britton

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Previous seasons: Murder House

That's right! The Nashville star is making her grand return to AHS after her one-and-only role in the anthology. What brings the dead Vivien Harmon back to life? Could it have something to do with her misbegotten offspring, raised by her neighbor Constance to bring about the end times?

14. Stevie Nicks

Previous seasons: Coven

The Fleetwood Mac singer guest starred in Season 3 as a fictionalized version of herself, who in Coven was a literal witch. Behind-the-scenes photos of Apocalypse reveal that Nicks will once again grace AHS with her musical presence in Season 8.

15. Amazon Eve

FX Networks/YouTube

Previous seasons: Freak Show

In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment in the trailer, you can see the trainer-turned-actor — who previously appeared in Season 4's Freak Show — enacting some kinky punishments upon the prisoners of Outpost 3.

16. Billy Eichner

FX Networks/YouTube

Previous seasons: Cult

The comedian joined AHS in Season 7 as a Nicole Kidman-loving cult member, and he can be seen in the Apocalypse trailer screaming at Grossman — his wife in Cult, paired together again — not to leave him as the world ends. Sadly, Eichner might not make it out of the apocalypse alive, as he's not seen in the footage again.

17. Leslie Grossman

Kurt Iswarienko/FX

Previous seasons: Cult

According to FX, Eichner's Season 7 spouse returns to AHS as a brand-new character, the amazingly-named Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt. Apparently she survives the plane crash glimpsed in the Apocalypse trailer, since she later turns up as an inhabitant of Outpost 3.

18. Billie Lourd

Kurt Iswarienko/FX

Previous seasons: Cult

Another of Coco's fellow plane passengers later ends up in the bunker: Lourd, also returning to AHS after her debut in Cult, this time as a character named Mallory, according to FX.

19. Newcomers

Kurt Iswarienko/FX

And of course, there will be blood — fresh blood, that is. According to FX, AHS newcomers in Apocalypse include the inimitable Dame Joan Collins as Evie Gallant (presumably the mother of Peters' Mr. Gallant); The Assassination Of Gianni Versace breakout star Cody Fern as the grown-up antichrist, Michael Langdon; Kyle Allen (The Path) as a survivor named Timothy Campbell; and Ashley Santos (Relationship Status) as another survivor named Emily. Additionally, Pose star Billy Porter revealed on his Instagram that he would be a part of Apocalypse; and Deadline reported that UnREAL star Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman would join the series for Season 8.

Who among this incredibly stacked cast will survive the end times? Find out when AHS: Apocalypse premieres on Wednesday, Sept. 12.