9:20am PT by Jackie Strause
Trump, Clinton Make Their Debuts in 'American Horror Story: Cult' Opening
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have made their American Horror Story debuts.
In the highly anticipated first look at the seventh cycle of Ryan Murphy's FX anthology, titled Cult, the showrunner has begun to reveal how the election theme will tie into the creepy clown cult at the center of the season.
The patriotic-themed opening credits, which play to a slower version of the show's recognizable tune, show what is presumed to be members of the cult donning both Trump and Clinton masks, along with a bloodied American flag. Returning stars Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters and Cheyenne Jackson make top billing, along with franchise newcomers Alison Pill and Billie Lourd.
The 11-episode season will begin on election night in Michigan, with the real 2016 presidential election serving as a jumping off point for this year's horror story. The first 10 minutes will involve the real Trump and Clinton election, though no actors will be taking on the roles. Instead, something terrible happens in the lives of the characters as they are watching the election go down.
"What I’m interested in doing is not just the obvious, single-minded point of view but rather express all sides of that equation," Murphy told THR about tackling the election theme. "[It's] about illuminating and highlighting people who don’t have a voice in our culture — people who are ignored by the current administration and who are afraid and feel terrorized that their lives are going to be taken away."
He added, "American Horror Story begins with election night and the national conversation and both the euphoria and the fear."
The opening credits reveal had been teased by Murphy on Twitter. "Because you asked for it... American Horror Story: Cult main title sequence will be released on Monday," he had promised. The title sequence was absent from last season's top-secret cycle Roanoke, which played out differently than seasons past.
This season's returning cast also includes Emma Roberts, Frances Conroy, Mare Winningham and Adina Porter, along with newcomers Billy Eichner, Colton Haynes, Leslie Grossman and Lena Dunham (for one episode).
Watch the opening credits sequence below for American Horror Story: Cult, which premieres Sept. 5.