A new Vera has joined the “Psycho” universe.
Oscar-nominated actress Vera Farmiga, who scored an Oscar nod for her performance in Jason Reitman’s 2009 film “Up in the Air” opposite George Clooney, has signed on to star as Norma Bates in A&E’s forthcoming series “Bates Motel.” The show, a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” (which, if you’ll remember, featured actress Vera Miles as the sister of Janet Leigh’s character) will focus on the highly-dysfunctional relationship between Norma and her son Norman prior to the murderous events depicted in the 1960 horror classic.
“Bates Motel” was ordered straight-to-series (i.e. without even a pilot being produced) by A&E earlier this summer for a 10-episode run, with former “Lost” co-showrunner Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin (“Parenthood,” “Friday Night Lights”) serving as its creative leads. According to Deadline, the show was originally envisioned as a miniseries before Cuse and Ehrin came on and revamped it into a longer-running TV series.
Farmiga’s previous television work includes series regular roles on a host of short-lived television shows, including USA’s “Touching Evil,” NBC’s “UC: Undercover” and the Fox fantasy series “Roar” opposite then-up-and-coming actor Heath Ledger. Her last appearance on the big-screen was in this year’s “Safe House” co-starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. It’s also worth mentioning that Farmiga’s younger sister Taissa starred as the rebellious Violet Harmon in Season 1 of FX’s “American Horror Story,” a similarly macabre cable series.
Of course, “Bates Motel” isn’t the only Hitchcock-inspired project in the works – in addition to HBO’s upcoming telepic “The Girl,” which focuses on the relationship between the esteemed director and his “Birds” leading lady Tippi Hedren, Fox Searchlight has “Hitchcock,” a biographical dramedy starring Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock, Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh, James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins and Jessica Biel as Vera Miles. That film is expected for release sometime next year.
Do you think Farmiga is the right fit for the role of Norma Bates? Sound off below.