The actor who plays Norman in the new series “Bates Motel” does a great job of making us believe that he will grow up to become the same Norman who was portrayed by Anthony Perkins in “Psycho.” I was reminded of Perkins several times while watching Freddie Highmore as Norman. It was easy to forget that Highmore starred in “Finding Neverland” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
Writer Carlton Cuse calls the show “a contemporary prequel.” It’s also a bit of a reboot in that the story takes place in the present, over 50 years later than Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho.” An article on Buzzfeed points out why prequels are better than reboots. The best reason is that “prequels have a built-in end point, which builds tension.” In a behind-the-scenes video interview, Cuse said, “We want you to fall in love with Norma and Norman Bates and hope against hope that they don’t meet their inevitable fate.”
While we’re peeking behind the scenes, here’s a video interview with director Tucker Gates.