'American Horror Story: Cult': All the Season 7 Details (So Far)

Bookmark THR's handy guide for updating details ahead of the Ryan Murphy/Brad Falchuk anthology's return.
'AHS: Cult'

When it comes to American Horror Story season seven: Expect more of the unexpected.

On that note, it's fair to say that nobody expected co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk to explore the 2016 presidential election — but that is just the theme of season seven of the FX anthology, which now has a title — Cult — and a premiere date: Sept. 5.

To help keep track of all the AHS: Cult details as they emerge, The Hollywood Reporter has compiled all the details — so far — and will continue to update this post as more emerge. Bookmark this page for the latest updates.

The premise 

Murphy revealed that season seven will tackle the 2016 presidential election that saw former reality host-turned-Republican candidate Donald Trump shockingly defeat former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Season seven "is going to be about the election that we just went through so I think that will be interesting for a lot of people," Murphy initially told Andy Cohen while promoting his new FX anthology series Feud

Months later, the anthology revealed its season seven title to be Cult. The title and season premiere date was revealed in a two-part stunt. Kicking off with a waterfront video at the show's Comic-Con activation that also included a sneak peek (complete with images of Twisty the Clown and bee hives), a message encouraged viewers to visit AHS7.com where another video revealed the title. Of the Cult reveal, Murphy had promised: "And suddenly... it will all make sense." (He also asked his followers if they'd like the main title sequence to return this season, as it was absent during Roanoke.) 

The website continues to boast an interactive experience that promises eight weeks of clues (currently, only week one is unlocked for viewing).

Murphy had further detailed his election plans when speaking to THR. "What I’m interested in doing is not just the obvious, single-minded point of view but rather express all sides of that equation. What needs to happen in our country now is for people to listen to each other — we may not always agree with each other and we may be horrified by what the other side is doing but we have to move toward understanding."

The showrunner plans to begin the series on election night and use Trump and Clinton as the characters who will be kicking off the season. "It's our jumping off point," he told E! of the former rivals playing a part in the season, but not being the focus. "[It is about] 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. [AHS] is always so fun when it's about the zeitgeist and what we're doing now."

He later added that actors won't be playing the roles of Clinton and Trump. "You'll see them on television," he said of the real Clinton and Trump. "The first 10 minutes of the 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."

He described the season as being a "true American Horror Story" during THR's Roundtable conversation: "And we're leaning into it. American Horror Story begins with election night and the national conversation and both the euphoria and the fear."

When speaking to press during the Television Critics Association's winter press tour in January, FX president John Landgraf offered few details about what the marketing and promotion for the next installment would look like. Season six's theme was kept under wraps and a series of more than 20 cryptic promos offered little to no information. Of season seven's marketing hook, Landgraf said "Ryan has yet another really innovative idea for how to do something fresh and different with the franchise that audiences haven't seen before." 

Murphy has taken to his Instagram account to share first looks of the season. The first photo he shared was a sketch of a creepy, red-lipped elephant (also the symbol of the Republican party) with only the following caption, "American Horror Story Season 7 tease." The second was a man with blue hair that had the caption, "AHS Season 7: Red, white and blue clue." Photos taken from the set point to Evan Peters being the unidentified blue-haired character (see below). He posted another demon with the hint: "Ambidexterity" and what appears to be a confirmation that John Carroll Lynch's Twisty the clown is back. His final hint before the July 20 title reveal was of a person covered in a swarm of bees.


American Horror Story Season 7 tease.

A post shared by Ryan Murphy (@mrrpmurphy) on


AHS Season 7: Red, white and blue clue

A post shared by Ryan Murphy (@mrrpmurphy) on


AHS Season 7 clue: ambidexterity

A post shared by Ryan Murphy (@mrrpmurphy) on


AHS last clue before this week's TITLE reveal. Ideas?

A post shared by Ryan Murphy (@mrrpmurphy) on

The cast

Confirmed to return are frequent Murphy leading lady Sarah Paulson and PetersRoanoke featured Paulson and Peters as a married pair of actors who fell in love on set, much to the delight of viewers of the longtime franchise. While the co-stars have stepped into many roles over the course of the franchise — Paulson has played seven, with two of characters making cameos on subsequent seasons, and Peters, six — the two had never been linked up romantically. 

When asked which member of the large ensemble cast should play Trump ahead of Murphy's reveal, Paulson had volunteered herself. "Why not?" she told THR at PaleyFest. "That's an acting challenge to be sure." She added of Murphy's ability to reinvent the topics he tackles, "Whatever the angle he's going to take, it will be unique, which will make it new, which will make us interested and make our eyes and ears open probably in a way that we hadn’t thought about." Peters later told THR that if Paulson were to take on Trump, he would want to play first daughter Ivanka.

Though it appears that neither will be getting their wish, both Paulson and Peters shared their excitement when finding out about the theme, saying the mystery is half the fun of the show. "American Horror Story pushes the buttons," said Peters of tackling the current social climate. "It makes you think and it will be interesting to see how people react."

Murphy also confirmed via Twitter in July that Girls star Lena Dunham would be joining the AHS family: "Thrilled that my talented friend Lena Dunham is joining the AMERICAN HORROR STORY family. Always wanted to work together, and now we r!" Dunham will appear in one episode, THR confirmed.

Teen Wolf and Arrow grad Colton Haynes will also make his AHS debut in season seven, with Murphy announcing June 20 that the actor, who recurred on Scream Queens season two, is joining the franchise. He also offered a tease on his Instagram. 


Welcome to American Horror Story, Colton Haynes

A post shared by Ryan Murphy (@mrrpmurphy) on

Scream Queens grad Billie Lourd is also set as a regular opposite the returning pair. Murphy shared a photo teasing her character with the caption, "Winter is coming."


Winter is coming. Can't wait for everybody to see what the incredible Billie Lourd does this season on AHS.

A post shared by Ryan Murphy (@mrrpmurphy) on

Newcomer Billy Eichner, host of truTV's Billy on the Street, is set to recur, though details about his role are being kept under wraps.

Popular favorite Leslie Grossman is also joining the cast, though it is unclear if she will be a series regular or in a recurring role. In addition to starring on Murphy's WB high school drama, she also appeared in the pilot of his The New Normal sitcom on NBC.

In addition to showing Peters as the blue-haired castmember, on-set photos have since revealed that Adina Porter, in the role of a reporterCheyenne Jackson and newcomer Alison Pill are also a part of the new season. Both Porter and Jackson starred in last cycle's Roanoke, though FX has yet to confirm in what capacity either will appear in the new cycle. 

How it connects to previous AHS seasons

Paulson's character reprisals are some of the examples of how AHS has hinted that the anthology exists within the same universe, but it wasn't until Roanoke that Murphy confirmed all the seasons are indeed connected. Each of the first six episodes corresponded to their respective cycles of Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show and Hotel, and Murphy revealed that Lady Gaga's Witch of the Woods is the original Supreme witch responsible for season three's Coven witches. Viewers can expect to see the franchise's interconnected ways "explode" come season seven. "You'll see it in season six, and then you'll really see it after," Murphy told THR ahead of Roanoke's premiere about connecting the dots. "We lay a lot of pipe, and you'll see it explode in seasons seven and eight."

Murphy promised that the franchise will return to Coven to tie the Gaga reveal and that one season — or perhaps the same season — will be a Murder House and Coven crossover. Gaga, however, won't be returning for season seven. Recently, Paulson named her Coven alter-ego, Cordelia, as the one character in the universe she'd most like to reprise. "We only got to see her just getting her powers," she said. "I just would like to know…if the power might have been something that kind of changed her."


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