When the upcoming A&E Psycho ‘prequel’ series, The Bates Motel, premieres in 2013, it will have a decidedly British look to it. While American born actress, Vera Farmiga (Source Code) will star as Norma Bates, British actor Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Finding Neverland) will play young Norman Bates – the role made famous by Anthony Perkins in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 horror classic. The series will follow Norman during his ‘Wonder Bread years’ and explore his relationship with his mother Norma. Series executive producers will be Lost‘s Carlton Cuse and Friday Night Lights‘ Kerry Ehrin.
In addition, Olivia Browne, who starred as the daughter of Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who, Lennon Naked, The Shadow Line) in BBC’s Blackout, will play Emma who, described as “bright” and “eccentric”, has a life-threatening disease and is determined to make the most of life. Hmmm. Let me guess…she travels the world and checks in to the Bates Motel. Finally, Norma will get some lines….
Unfortunately, the same day that I learned of the 10-part ‘prequel’ series to the brilliant Psycho, it was announced that the Coen Brothers will adapt their equally as brilliant 1996 film, Fargo, for a television series premiering on FX in 2013. Having the Coen Brothers do anything is brilliant. Fargo is one of all-time greats. Fargo without the likes of Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi or the great Peter Stormare….not so brilliant.
Time will tell, but there’s not a lot of history that dictates a film classic or blockbuster movie can translate to the small screen. We’ll have to wait and see if having a bit of a British touch can make a difference.