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New ‘Bates Motel’ Details: ‘Psycho’ Only An “Inspiration?”

Bates Motel Spoilers Carlton Cuse Psycho

With the Television Critics Association press tours ongoing, earlier today we were treated to the reveal that A&E would in fact premiere its upcoming ‘Psycho’ prequel TV series ‘Bates Motel‘ on March 18. The series has a considerable amount of buzz going for it, particularly with former ‘LOST‘ show-runner Carlton Cuse at the helm, but Cuse spoke out today that the ‘Bates Motel’ story in its modern context may not necessarily treat Hitchcock’s film as canon. Find out how ‘Bates Motel’ differs from the source material inside!

March 18 will see the premiere of A&E’s buzz-worthy new drama ‘Bates Motel,’ but don’t expect Freddie Highmore’s Norman Bates to be exactly the ‘Psycho’ you remember. The Carlton Cuse-helmed, Kerry Ehrin-written series tells the story of a young Norman Bates in a modern context, chronicling how his relationship to his mother Norma (Vera Farmiga) influenced him to become a killer in later years.

To that end, Cuse and Ehrin recently answered questions at the TCA press tour panel, citing Hitchcock’s film as more of an inspiration than pure canon. Says Cuse:

We did not want to do an homage to ‘Psycho,’ we wanted to take these characters and setup as inspiration. 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.

Certainly the modern context and technology will impact how Norman Bates’ story unfolds, something the producers noted as allowing them freedom to craft a different tale than ‘Psycho.’ Without revealing too many spoilers, Cuse went on to tease that ‘Bates Motel’s first season would incorporate several mysteries, including an old notebook that Norman stumbles on outlining the story of a girl’s brutal torture, as well as the real-life presence of a woman chained up in the basement of the building purchased by the Bates.

Don’t worry about any ‘LOST’ connections either, as Cuse spelled out “No polar bears, no smoke monsters, just say no right off the top. There’s no supernatural elements in play, we view this as a psychological thriller.” The same goes for canonical ‘Psycho’ elements such as Marion Crane, who Cuse didn’t view in any clear beginning, middle or endpoint to the series.

In addition to Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga as the titular Bates clan, the series also includes Max Thieriot as long-lost Bates brother Dylan, ‘LOST’s’ Nestor Carbonell as “edgy” Sheriff Alex Romero, Mike Vogell as his deputy Zach Shelby, Olivia Cooke as Norman’s handicapped friend Emma Decody, and ‘The Last Airbender’s’ Nicola Peltz as high school it-girl Bradley.

What say you? Are you primed for ‘Bates Motel’ when it debuts on Monday, March 18 on A&E? Watch the trailer below, and give us your take in the comments!

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