The trailer for HBO Films' The Girl just popped up a couple days ago, giving audiences a taste of the drama chronicling the relationship filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock (Toby Jones) had with The Birds star Tippi Hedren (Sienna Miller). But another piece of Hitchcock's history is getting attention on TV in the form of Bates Motel, a series that will serve as a prequel to the horror classic Psycho.
Former Lost showrunner Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin (Parenthood) are writing and executive producing the A&E series which examines the strange relationship between the impending serial killer Norman Bates and his mother Norma, the latter of which has just been cast.
Deadline reports the matriarch role has been filled by Vera Farmiga (The Departed, Source Code), who Cuse praises by saying, "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 actress previously worked on TV with roles in UC: Undercover and Touching Evil before making it big on film, including an Oscar nomination for her supporting performance in Up in the Air.
Vera Farmiga should play a more lively Norma Bates than in the original Psycho
Bates Motel was originally developed as just a miniseries for A&E, but Cuse and Ehrin reworked it into an actual ongoing series. The network then decided to skip the dating period and rather than making a pilot first, they just flat out ordered the series for 10 episodes. The series will have a contemporary feel, but the setting will likely be in the same time period as the original film takes place.
A&E is stepping into sacred territory by telling the origin story behind one of cinema's most beloved horror films from one of the most revered director's in motion picture history. The series being on cable certainly helps to allow for a truly twisted tale, but I can't help but think the series would have a better home on HBO or even FX (which gets away with a lot of edgy material in American Horror Story, Louie and more). Farmiga certainly adds some credibility to the series, but we still have to see who will play Norman Bates.
Bates Motel is set to premiere sometime in 2013 on A&E.