A&E Orders ‘Psycho’ Prequel Series ‘Bates Motel’

Published 3 years ago by

Bates Motel AE A&E Orders Psycho Prequel Series Bates Motel

It looks as though Norman Bates will be terrorizing unlucky travelers once more, as A&E recently announced they’ve ordered a full season of Bates Motel from former Lost writer and executive producer Carlton Cuse, with the intention of having the series ready to air by 2013.

A&E joins NBC in bringing another monstrous movie murderer to the small screen to more closely examine what makes him tick. Similar to what Bryan Fuller’s upcoming Hannibal series plans to do with Hannibal Lecter, A&E’s Bates Motel will feature a younger version of Norman Bates (originally played to perfection by actor Anthony Perkins in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 horror masterpiece, Psycho) and place him front and center in the storyline.

The series has been described as a mash-up of Twin Peaks and Smallville – apparently for its ability to combine the bizarrely macabre with a somewhat nostalgic look at a character rapidly approaching his destiny. Bates Motel aims to investigate the relationship between Norman and his mother – or, more specifically, how Norman’s exposure to his unhinged mother and her relationships permanently sent the young man off his rocker.

Also like Hannibal, this series will be skipping the pilot phase altogether to head straight to series. Originally, Bates Motel was considered to be a six-part event with the possibility of expansion should it prove successful, but after Cuse came on board – joining former Friday Night Lights writer and producer Kerry Ehrin – the network turned the project into a 10-episode first season.

Anthony Perkins Psycho A&E Orders Psycho Prequel Series Bates Motel

Earlier this week, A&E president Bob DeBitetto and executive vice president of programming Dave McKillop announced the project by saying:

“We are proud to be partnering with Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin on their thrilling reinvention of one of the most compelling characters in cinematic history. It’s a provocative project from two of the best storytellers in the business, and we’re looking forward to getting started.”

With the pilot episode already written by series creator Anthony Cipriano (whose previous credits include scripting former Dexter co-executive producer Michael Cuesta’s feature film, Twelve and Holding) the next step in the process turns to casting. At this point, though, there has been no word on potential candidates for the role of Norman or his mother, but expect word on those roles very soon.

Interestingly enough, Norman Bates tried his hand at television in the late ’80s when NBC aired a television movie also titled Bates Motel that starred Harold and Maude‘s Bud Cort, Jason Bateman and future Tank Girl, Lori Petty. Then, in 1990, Psycho IV - a direct to cable movie – aired on Showtime and similarly explored Bates’ beginnings (and specifically his dysfunctional relationship with his mother). It was not received particularly well.

Screen Rant will keep you up to date with all the casting announcements for Bates Motel as they are made available.


Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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  1. I usually dont watch tv shows but this might be intresting to watch.

  2. I think Principle Seymour Skinner and his mother Agnes would be perfect for this show!

  3. how Norman’s exposure to his unhinged mother and her relationships permanently sent the young man off his rocker.

  4. This would be a great series to do in black & white. I know it’s not popular but the translation of older movies to blu-ray has been incredible & the success of movies like The Artist have proven that audiences aren’t put off by monochrome formats.

    • Great point, Jason. Hitchcock himself made that design choice for the original.
      Nothing evokes the mood and ever-present anxiety of Psycho like black and white.

      Even the scene where Janet Leigh is driving in the rain radiates a sense of pending
      doom which would be impossible to create in color. It is unfortunate this art form
      has fallen into disfavor of filmmakers because it adds rather than detracts.
      Orson Welles believed there were no great performances in color.

      • You know, in today’s Hollywood, I’m not sure Orson Welles could have had a career.

        • I think you’re right. Orson would not have a career today.
          He was even denied the career he should have had in his day.
          The fact that studio heads in effect conspired against him
          was what John Huston called Hollywood’s greatest shame.

    • I agree also.
      If they decide to take a chance and do the show in B&W I just might give it a watch.
      Have you seen The Mist?
      And if so have you seen it in B&W like Darabont intended it to be?
      I liked it when I saw it in the theater but after seeing it in B&W on Blu-ray it went from pretty good to amazing IMO.

      • Just added the disc to Netflix. Darabont is a genius. I saw the panel for The Mist at SDCC and was hooked. Hollywood doesn’t realize how genius he is. Thanks for the heads up about the b&w version. Looking forward to it!

  5. This is one of those instances where the audience should not be given what they want. The interaction with his mother could be the most interesting part of the story, but it would only disappoint to try to portray it, and that’s not a jab at the skill of the people making this. There are things better left unsaid, as Hitchcock knew. They didn’t spend much time on Francis Dollarhyde’s abuse in “Red Dragon” because it was only there to set up his later insanity, and Norman Bates’ insanity is a twist ending! Going over events in his past would be like filling out a checklist for completists into torture porn. What’s the point?

  6. This, I guess, is better than remaking or sequeling a classic…oh wait Psycho already had 3 pointless sequels and a terrible remake that still don’t tarnish this classic’s accomplishments. GoodFellas also has a TV show coming out.

    • I’m not buying the “doesn’t tarnish the legacy” line anymore. Star Wars is ruined, and a lot of other things are getting diluted because there’s a market for more storylines. It’s another way profit destroys quality, in this case by overriding artistic decision-making by people with actual talent.
      There is one way only that a Psycho prequel, or a Goodfellas prequel or any other exploitation doesn’t ruin the original: if you don’t watch it.

      • Look, I agree with you 100%. I’m saying that certain films, such as Psycho and GoodFellas deserve to be untouched but because some people are more corporate than artistic, we have been unwillingly given The Godfather 3, an upcoming Raging Bull sequel, all these Wizard of Oz and Psycho remakes and sequels, the prequel trilogy of Star Wars, the Rocky sequels, etc. Those terrible films don’t ruin the classics for me because Casablanca will always be Casablanca, The Godfather will always be The Godfather, etc. It’s better to avoid those other terrible films and focus on the classics. The Star Wars prequels, by the way, are merely mediocre, not terrible, though I believe they never should’ve been made and that the one good thing that came out of it was General Grievous, my favorite character during my childhood, along with Darth Vader and Quasimodo from 1996′s The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

    • Psycho II is freaking excellent.

      • AGREED.

  7. Don’t get me wrong, Psycho is one of the top 15 movies of all time, however I have this belief that it would’ve been a bit better if it was made by Hitchcock 10 years earlier starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly. In my belief, those 2 would play the roles to perfection.

    • Anthony Perkins did play the role to perfection…

  8. No, just no. Why not just make some contrived sequel if they are so desperate to cash off this classic, why go back and tinker with the backstory of the original film. And to top it off it’s gonna be made by one of the hacks from Lost.

    F*** this f****** disgrace of a tv series. Originality is very close to dead at this point. I won’t be watching.

  9. Texting is reducing the English language down to riduculous abreviations. This will, eventually, lead to the elimination of some words altogether or change them to mean something entirely different.

    For instance: The word screenwriter will be replaced by the word screenrewriter. Sadly, it is coming to that.

    • wat

  10. I’m for it, if the pieces fit right.

  11. We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes.

  12. Norman Bates has been cast – Freddie Highmore.

  13. I think this could be a good show if it is done right, It would be really cool at the end of the series when Norman becomes the killer that we get to see a cameo of Anthony Perkins once again as Norman or at least have his voice in there saying Oh Mother what have you done! its like Young Clark becoming Superman and putting on the suite.