“Mother is not quite herself today,” drawled Anthony Perkins in Alfred Hitchcock’s seminal thriller Psycho. Well, now Mother will never be quite the same again. Screen Rant informs us that the A&E prequel series Bates Motel has cast Vera Farmiga as Mrs. Norma Bates.
Bates Motel tells story of the unique relationship between Norman Bates and his mother. It serves as a backstory to Hitchcock’s iconic work and will probably be set in the same time period as the original film.
Carlton Cuse of Lost fame and Kerry Ehrin of Parenthood originally developed Bates Motel as a miniseries, but A&E has since opted to turn it into a regular series and they have even gone so far as to order ten episodes.
The network must have a great deal of faith in the success of this show to forgo even the usual pilot in favor of ten episodes. With their new leading lady though, they might have reason.
Vera Farmiga as Mrs. Bates is the first major casting decision to be announced, and it is a whopper. Cuse says: “she is a phenomenal talent who has demonstrated incredible range and intelligence in a number of landmark film roles, and we couldn’t be more excited to have her join our project.”
The addition of Vera Farmiga somewhat quells the sense that A&E are about to step on some very hallowed ground in attempting to tell a backstory to one of the most iconic thrillers ever made.
With such a well-thought-of actress in one of the two main parts, there’s a good chance that there is at least some merit in the story. Gus van Sant already tried and failed to remake Psycho; perhaps a backstory will have better success.
How they will manage to fill Anthony Perkins’ shoes is quite a different story but I have faith that we won’t be disappointed by who the network chooses.
Bates Motel will premiere in 2013 on A&E.