After weeks of teasing and hours of eager anticipation (made even longer by this reporter's inability to understand the difference between east coast and west coast time), American Horror Story's seventh season finally has a title: Cult. But that's not all: American Horror Story: Cult will premiere on FX on Tuesday, September 5. Show creator Ryan Murphy used the occasion of Comic-Con International (SDCC) to formally make the announcement as part of FX's AHS Zoetrope, described as a "mesmerizing, larger-than-life" experience where attendees were given the first preview of the season's theme.
Murphy teased the upcoming season over the last several weeks with casting announcements and with seemingly random images, including one that more than implied that Twisty the Clown (John Carroll Lynch) from Season 4's Freak Show would be making his presence known…and he might be bringing some of his fellow "freaks" along with him. Murphy's final tease came earlier this week: a picture of a man covered in bees. Yup.
As previously announced, American Horror Story: Cult will include returning cast members Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Adina Porter, and Cheyenne Jackson; as well as new cast members Billie Lourd (Scream Queens), Billy Eichner (Difficult People), Colton Haynes (Arrow), Leslie Grossman (Nip/Tuck), Alison Pill (The Newsroom) and Lena Dunham (Girls).
American Horror Story: Cult is using the 2016 election as an inspiration and backdrop for the story, beginning with the night of the election itself. While the turbulent election might serve as the season's theme, Murphy wants viewers to know that if they're expecting to see Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump running for their lives from a crazed, knife-wielding Twisty, they're going to be disappointed:
"I think people literally think Sarah Paulson is playing Hillary Clinton, and I wanted to clarify that that is not true. Horror Story is always about allegory, so the election is allegory. It's our jumping off point. It is about the election we just went through and what happened on that night and the fallout of that night, which to many people, from all sides of the camps is a horror story. And you know, that show is always so fun when it's about the zeitgeist and what we're doing now. You'll see them (Clinton and Trump) on television. The first 10 minutes of the season, this season, takes place in a very eerie macabre way on election night and there's something terrible that happens in the lives of our characters on election night as they're watching it all go down. Which in itself was a horror story, so it's like a horror story upon a horror story."