With production gearing up for the first season’s worth of 10 episodes for A&E’s upcoming series THE BATES MOTEL, the casting news is coming at us fast and furiously! A little while back, we heard that Vera Farmiga (ORPHAN, THE DEPARTED) would be playing the modern interpretation of “Mother” aka Norma Bates. Now, on top of the teaser art above, we have casting news not only for Norman Bates, but for his older brother (!) Dylan Bates.
First thing’s first – from what we’ve heard, the new version of THE BATES MOTEL is set in present time and is (for the most part) a radical new take on the PSYCHO mythology. The best way to describe it is its TWIN PEAKS meets SMALLVILLE. And while some purists might cry blasphemy, we think it’s a good thing that PSYCHO is being put back in the spotlight in such a big way and introduced to a whole new generation of film & TV lovers. The fact that A&E bypassed the pilot stage and went straight into a 10 episode commitment shows a lot of confidence in the story they’re planning to tell. That said, in the new take, Norma Bates is alive and well and we meet Norman at about age 16. Playing him will be Freddie Highmore.
The young British actor is probably familiar to American audiences from his portrayal of little Charlie in Tim Burton’s CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY and also FINDING NEVERLAND, but now at the real life age of 20, the actor shares the tall, lanky appearance of a young Anthony Perkins. On top of that, the show will somewhat tweak the mythology by introducing Dylan Bates, Norman’s older brother described as a “James Dean type” of character. Now, before you cry foul, remember that the original PSYCHO was based on the infamous Ed Gein case. And Gein himself had an older brother that many say died under mysterious circumstances. Although never proven, it’s often believed that Ed killed his older brother which left him and his mother all by themselves. For the series, Max Thieriot has been cast as Dylan Bates.
From LOST’s Carlton Cuse and FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS’ Kerry Ehrin, BATES MOTEL will explore Norman’s relationship with his mother, Norma and offer a look at his backstory that helped forge the infamous serial killer.
Production begins shortly in Vancouver with a expected premiere date sometime in 2013. More as we hear it!