While the world of global politics – particularly in the U.S. and the U.K. – has seemed like the plot of an especially outlandish movie in the past 12 months, writer-producer-director Ryan Murphy intends to take one part of it as inspiration for his award-winning FX series, American Horror Story. While future plans for the show are often shrouded in secrecy, Murphy has used an interview on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen to confirm that the upcoming seventh season will be about the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.
“Well, I don’t have a title, but the season that we begin shooting in June is going to be about the election that we just went through.”
American Horror Story is an anthology series, created by Murphy and Brad Falchuk. Its format means that each season is a stand-alone miniseries, featuring a new setting and a new cast of characters. Actors often participate in more than one season, with Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters and Lily Rabe being the three that have appeared in each, so far. Kicking off in 2011 with a haunted house tale in Murder House, the second season then shifted the timeframe to 1964 for Asylum. Season 3 – Coven – was set in 2013, while season 4 was titled Freak Show, and was set in 1952. The fifth season, Hotel, was set in 2015, and the sixth season – Roanoke – brought the story right up date with a 2016 setting.
With this being American Horror Story, Murphy’s announcement does not necessarily mean that season 7 will feature a Washington D.C setting, with a cast filled with recognizable political figures – but it doesn’t mean it won’t, either. Murphy is also the producing powerhouse behind American Crime Story, which is designed to be an anthology series focused on real events. There had previously been rumours that the writer was looking to the 2016 election for a future chapter of that series, but now, it seems that inspiration will show up in American Horror Story first. Here, we may well see a more subversive take on the political landscape – with themes and motifs used in an unexpected way. It’s worth noting that, in his interview, Murphy hinted that there may be a ‘Donald Trump character’ in the seventh season.
This is the beauty of American Horror Story. Even after the general theme has been revealed, we still don’t really know what to expect. Another past rumour about season 7 was that it would, in some way, connect to the fourth season, which was Freak Show. Though we know that season crossovers are certainly a part of the overall American Horror Story plan, it’s not yet clear whether they’ll show up in the seventh season, or whether this will be a plot twist reserved for the eighth and ninth seasons – the renewal orders for which were recently announced.
Whatever it is that Ryan Murphy actually has in store for his audience, the seventh season of American Horror Story will arrive amid the fall schedule.