Everyone knows that the new A&E series Bates Motel is based on Alfred Hitchcock’s adaptation of Robert Bloch’s novel Psycho. The question has been exactly how much of the existing material, which also includes three film sequels Hitchcock had nothing to do with, would be referenced in the new series starring Freddie Highmore as young Norman Bates and Vera Farmiga as his mother Norma. Series co-executive producer and showrunner Carlton Cuse addressed some of this at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour.
“We did not want to do an homage to Psycho, we wanted to take these characters and setup as inspiration,” The Hollywood Reporter quotes Cuse as saying. “The mythology that you think is what dictates the relationship between Norma and Norman is not what it’s going to turn out to be.”
Cuse continued, describing the thematic elements to the series. “This is a tragedy, it’s a fantastic dramatic form,” he said. “We want the audience to fall in love with these characters, particularly Norman. That tension of knowing what their fate is and how they get there was something we thought was really telling.”
He also stated the series will not feature any kind of supernatural elements like his previous show Lost. Bates Motel is a full-on psychological thriller. He went on to say that Janet Leigh’s Marion Crane character will most likely not appear in the show because the show is working toward a specific finale. “There is an endpoint to this narrative, absolutely,” he said.
Bates Motel debutsMonday, March 18 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on A&E.