‘American Horror Story’ season 7 – theme, cast, release date and everything we know so far

Can't wait for the return of Ryan Murphy's cult show? Us neither

For the past six years, American Horror Story has paid homage to, altered and rewritten every rule in the horror rulebook. It is thoughtful, funny, self-aware and, most of all, pretty damn terrifying at times. It has spawned multiple spin-offs and sister-series (Scream Queens and American Crime Story) and launched the acting career of one Lady Gaga.

We can’t wait for its return and you shouldn’t either. Here’s everything we know about season seven of the FX anthology series.

When is American Horror Story season 7 out?

AHS will return in the US on September 5 and will run for 11 episodes. While no UK air date has been confirmed, the series is usually broadcast two days after the American showing.

What’s the theme?

Creator Ryan Murphy said earlier this year that the new series will be based on the 2016 US election. “I think that will be interesting for a lot of people,” he said, calling it “a modern-day story.”

Murphy also revealed during a Twitter Q&A that the new episodes will be set in Michigan, a key state in how the US election panned out.

When will we now the title?

The title was revealed at the San Diego Comic-Con on July 20. AHS season seven will be called Cult.

AHS SEASON 7: CULT

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How will season 7 begin?

Murphy told E! Online: “The first 10 minutes of this season, take 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.”

Have we seen a trailer?

No full-length trailers yet, but there have been a couple of teasers. First, the below, which fans have speculated hints at a long-rumoured cruise ship setting or storyline coming up. It also flashes to the stick figures from season six, Roanoke, which suggests the possibility of the two series crossing over in some way. Of course, Ryan Murphy does seem to enjoy leading fans down the wrong path and this teaser was released before he’d even begun writing season seven.

The monsters are all gone. #AHSRoanoke

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Then there was this very short TV spot, featuring a seriously creepy clown. There’s been plenty of clown imagery in the reveals about the new episodes so far, so expect this clue to be a legitimate pointer at what to expect from the series.

And then there was the teaser that came with the title reveal.

Over various shots of a horde of evil-looking clowns, an ominous voice whispers: “You will feel alone. It’s as if no one really understands you. Some people just make you sick.

“Are you afraid? We can set you free. We will make you strong. We want you,” it adds.

What other hints have we seen?

Plenty. Ryan Murphy’s Instagram account is a trove of clues that will have you trying to figure out how they’re all connected. He recently posted this photo of a person covered in a swarm of bees:

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

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While he’s also teased new monsters, including this hole-filled creature with hands coming out of its head:

American Horror Story Holes

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AHS Season 7 clue: ambidexterity

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He also shared a photo of blue hair with caption “Red, white and blue clue.” How will that link up to the election theme?

AHS Season 7: Red, white and blue clue

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Elsewhere, there’s a new website, AHS7.com, that’s been launched and will give fans new insight and clues to what’s to come in the new series each week until the premiere. The first week was the Cult teaser video. What will the coming weeks hold? Sign up to get your cult ID number and find out.

Will it be a crossover season?

While Murphy has confirmed plans to produce a season which combines season one (Murder House) with season three (Coven), it won’t be for season seven.

“It’s not going to be next season, but we are going to do a season that’s a crossover between Murder House and Coven together, which is very bizarre,” Murphy has said. “There will be characters from Murder House and characters from Coven together. I’ve started going to actors from both of the seasons, quietly, saying, ‘I think in this window, if you could fit us in’. So yeah, it’s fun. It’s weird”.

However, in 2016 Murphy also told EW: “Next year, we will be going back to some Freak Show characters, deeper histories and mythologies. So we’re sort of still exploring season 4 in season 7.”

Which cast members are confirmed so far?

Murphy announced at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour on January 12 that fan favourites Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters will return in season seven.

Paulson recently paid tribute to Murphy in her Golden Globes acceptance speech, saying: “To the man responsible for this and so much in my life, Ryan Murphy… you changed my life. If there was a single thing I thought I could give you that you didn’t already have, it would be at your doorstep every single day ’til the end of time, but in lieu of that all I have is my boundless gratitude. And I love you.”

Billy Eichner is joining the cast, as is Carrie Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd, who appeared as Chanel Number 3 in another of Murphy’s series, Scream Queens. Leslie Grossman is also joining the cast. On Instagram, Murphy wrote that Grossman is “one of the funniest and most talented ladies I know”.

Other casting announcements include AHS newcomers Billy Eichner, Colton Haynes, Alison Pill and Girls‘ Lena Dunham, the latter of which has been confirmed to appear in one episode. Mare Winningham, Adina Porter, Cheyenne Jackson and Frances Conroy will all return. No details of characters for any of the above actors have been revealed as yet.

At present it is unknown whether series regulars Kathy Bates, Denis O’Hare, Lily Rabe and Angela Bassett will feature.

Actors introduced in season six, Cuba Gooding Jr and André Holland, could also feature again. Lady Gaga, who won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of The Countess in season five, Hotel, will not return for season seven.

It is not known whether Jessica Lange, who played lead roles in the first four seasons but has not appeared since, will return.

Creator Ryan Murphy has confirmed that neither Trump nor Clinton will be played by actors in season 7, saying: “We don’t have actors playing them. You’ll see them on television.”

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Is there any concept art for season 7?

You betcha!

There’s this freaky clown-elephant mask, presumably a reference to the Republicans’ elephant logo:

American Horror Story Season 7 tease.

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And there’s this doll version of Twisty the clown:

American Horror Story Twisty doll! Coming soon to haunt your nightmares.

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Scary.

Will Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson have big parts in this series?

Evan Peters is the only actor to have a main cast role in all six seasons of AHS so far. Fans were initially confused to why Peters was yet to appear in the opening episodes of Roanoke, but he later played two roles in the season: as actor Rory Monahan and as Edward Phillipe Mott in recreation sequences.

Although he and Paulson, who has appeared in all seasons of the show, but only played a minor role in Murder House, are again expected to feature heavily in Cult. They will play lovers Kai and Ally respectively, a relationship that Murphy has described as “a love story for the ages”. The creator has also described this series as Peters’ “heaviest season yet.”

Ally and Kai in CULT…a love story for the ages.

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When will filming start?

Production on this season of AHS began in June. It is not yet known whether filming is complete. Murphy said in January that he had “just started writing” for season seven.

How many more seasons will there be?

There are three more seasons commissioned for AHS – season seven, plus two more. Season eight will air in 2018, followed by season nine in 2019.

“We don’t know what the eighth and ninth seasons are about,” FX CEO John Landgraf says. “We’re extending it out of trust and goodwill but also, Ryan made a commitment that he would continue to run that show and that he would be involved as he has been in the past with… designing and building the show from the ground up.

“I’m utterly confident that seasons 8 and 9 will be equally original and interesting.”

Which UK channel will it be on?

Airing on FX in the US, season seven is expected to be found on the Fox UK channel in the United Kingdom.

How will the Roanoke backlash affect the next season?

Not everyone was a fan of the latest AHS season, the very meta Roanoke, which involved a fake TV show about a fake TV show on a real TV show.

But Murphy appears unfazed.”Last year was successful,” he recently said, before admitting: “[But] I don’t know that we’d do it again.”

Murphy has also teased the follow-up by saying: “We lay a lot of pipe, and you’ll see it explode in seasons seven and eight.”