A&E’s teen version of ‘Psycho’ killer Bates
- Last Updated: 11:45 AM, July 3, 2012
- Posted: 10:48 PM, July 2, 2012
Infamous “Psycho” mother-stuffer Norman Bates is getting the series treatment.
A&E’s “Bates Motel,” set to air next year, will be based on Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic 1960 chiller starring creepy Anthony Perkins as murderous mama’s boy Norman Bates, who runs the Bates Motel under the watchful (but unseeing) eye of his dominating mother.
The new series, produced by Carlton Cuse (“Lost”) and Kerry Ehrin (“Friday Night Lights”), will re-imagine Norman as a modern-day teen dealing with his overbearing mother, Norma — and how their complex relationship affects his later life as a cross-dressing killer.
“It takes place in 2013, when Norman is 16 years old and his mother, Norma, is in her early 40s and hot,” Cuse told The Post.
“They move to this bucolic town in Northern California and buy a motel.”
Hitchcock’s 1960 classic was based on Robert Bloch’s 1959 novel, which itself was loosely based on infamous, mother-fixated Wisconsin serial killer/grave robber Ed Gein, who lived in a ramshackle, secluded house — where he kept body parts (torsos, skulls, noses, lips) as trophies and used them as everyday household items.
“The way we view ‘Bates Motel,’ we’re writing it as a tragedy, which isn’t a form you get to write a lot in TV,” Cuse says. “We’re going to chart how Norman Bates — this kind of charming, engaging, quirky-but-interesting 16-year-old — comes to the road that leads him down the path we know from the movie. It’s all about the dynamic between mother and son.”
(In the movie, it turns out that Norman’s mother has been dead for years — and is stuffed into a chair while Norman takes on her personality.)
Cuse says that, unlike the Hitchcock flick, Norman will have a brother, Dylan, who’ll play a significant role in the series.
“We obviously took inspiration from the original movie,” he says. “This is a re-imagining of the franchise, with the same central characters.
“We’re not locked into any of [the movie’s plot points] . . . this is not a rigorous, literal-canon-based retelling of the story.
“The main idea is to tell a whole new story,” he says. “We want to pay homage to the movie, but . . . this is sort of us being ‘inspired’ by the movie because it’s so great.”
A&E has ordered 10 episodes of the series, bypassing the standard pilot episode to go straight to production on the series.
None of the major roles have been cast yet, Cuse says.
“We want to take a ride with these characters,” he says, “and get caught up in their lives.”