Vera Farmiga set to play Norman Bates' infamous mother in A&E's Psycho prequel series

When you watch Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and see the corpse of Norman Bates' mother revealed, don't you wonder what she used to look like? I mean, Norman was kind enough to put on a wig and give us an idea, but in the end, he was still just a very disturbed man in a dress. Not the most accurate representation of Mrs. Norma Bates. But A&E is going to finally end all that wondering we've been doing now that they've cast Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air) as Mother. Dear, dear Mother.

I suppose the other news is that yes, this Psycho series is actually still happening, despite no one really asking for it. But while it's never encouraging news to hear that someone is trying to capitalize on a classic horror movie by turning it into a TV show about already-existing characters (because that's generally known as "fan fiction"), at least it's coming from interesting people. Notably, the executive producer and writer of Lost, Carlton Cuse. Nothing "run of the mill" is coming from Carlton Cuse. And this show, Bates Motel, is promising a Twin Peaks-level of weirdness and mystery for the story that will tell us what Norma Bates did to her son that turned him into such a demented person. I'm not going to lie -- that sounds pretty interesting. A&E clearly agreed when they picked the whole thing up for series right off the bat.

Farmiga's Norma is being described as "a complicated, passionate and compelling woman who's a smart, multidimensional character always capable of surprising people." Probably not with cupcakes. But she sounds delightful! Maybe, in the end, Norman was just a brat.

Vera Farmiga to star in A&E's 'Psycho' Prequel 'Bates Motel' [The Hollywood Reporter]


  1. I try to remain open to remakes and reboots and money-making fan fiction, because it’s all part of remix culture. But somehow I don’t think a Mrs. Bates tv series is going to turn out anywhere near as cool as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

  2. Will there be wacky neighbors and crazy hijinks?   Will there be a “Norman Bates and his mom go to Hawaii” episode?

    1. Will there be a “Norman Bates and his mom go to Hawaii” episode?

      If they saved that one until after the taxidermy incident it could basically be a remake of “Weekend at Bernie’s.”

  3. When you watch Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and see the corpse of Norman Bates’ mother revealed, don’t you wonder what she used to look like?

    I must have watched that movie wrong. I thought the twist ending was that the killer was some kind of knife-wielding zombie.

    1. Since it was made for Showtime in 1990 or so, not too many people know it exists.  It’s worth seeing.

    1. They’re close. Explaining a joke is like dissecting a frog. Explaining a psycho is like vivisecting a frog.

    1. Other screen characters who I never thought to wonder what they looked like before they were corpses:

      • The Cryptkeeper
      • That one skeleton from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” with the snake that comes out of its mouth
      • The head in one background shot from “Game of Thrones” which caused a minor kerfuffle for HBO after it turned out to be a recycled George W. Bush head in a wig
      • “Night of the Living Dead” extra #37
      • Joan Rivers

  4. There could be an officious butler character who always addresses Norman as ‘Young Master’ Bates. Yes I am mentally like twelve. 

    1. Not wrong, but what does exotic mean? She looks like a pretty skinny white lady with medium/light brown hair and blue/green eyes. She’d look very exotic in some places, and pretty common in others. Scrolling down I thought it was an Olsen.

  5. Horror movie prequels/origin stories are usually a sign that the last drops of blood are being squeezed out of the stone–think Hannibal Rising or that one for Freddy Krueger. Some things are better left to the imagination.

Comments are closed.