First Image of A&E TV Series 'Bates Motel': The Making of a 'Psycho'

Bates Motel

Known as one of the greatest film directors in the history of the medium, Alfred Hitchcock's legend transcends cinema and art itself. Still revered as a filmmaker, but also viewed as an intriguing Hollywood figure, Hitchcock has served as the subject of two 2012 biopic films, The Girl and Hitchcock, the latter of which was released this weekend (read our review). "The Master of Suspense" is credited with directing more than 50 films, almost all of which are highly-regarded and critically lauded. However, there's one that most seem to refer to as his greatest achievement and that is the horror classic, Psycho (1960).

A&E has began production on a new series, Bates Motel, which will serve as a prequel to the original film.

We're getting a first look at the series in the form of a new image, courtesy of A&E via THR, which details the relationship between Norman Bates, played by Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and his mother, played by Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air, The Departed). The series will tell the story of the mother and son moving into the now infamous and ominous Bates house and motel after father Bates passes away.

Here is the first image, released just this week:

Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga in 'Bates Motel'

Although the original film received mixed reviews upon its initial release, it is now often considered one of the greatest horror movies of all-time. Hitchcock's bold approach to slashing convention (among other things) created controversy as well as one of the biggest box-office openings (at the time). The beloved original then spurred numerous imitations, two sequels, a prequel and a 1998 remake with Vince Vaughn in the Norman Bates role. But what can we expect fro the A&E show?

The series, which is being produced by Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights), is already receiving a lot of support from a confident A&E, which quickly ordered 10 episodes, choosing to skip the traditional pilot stage approach. Bates Motel should also be strengthened by its talented, youthful supporting cast, which includes Olivia Cooke (Blackout) as Norman's classmate, Nicola Peltz (The Last Airbender) as Norman's friend and Max Thieriot (House at the End of the Street) as Norman's older brother.

Typically when a project like this is announced, it tends to elicit concern from those who loved the original. Any reboot, remake, or sequel (even prequel) of a true classic could tarnish the reputation of its predecessor in some way. However, considering those involved and the confidence displayed by the network, it seems like they will handle the source material with care, as I'm sure they are cognisant of its cultural significance. They also have tapped a part of the story that many fans of the original film are surely interested in, mainly, the journey and transformation of Norman Bates from seemingly normal kid to serial killer. That character study could prove rewarding for viewers.

Be sure to look for Bates Motel when it comes to A&E in 2013.

Source: A&E (via THR)

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