Charming Peter Llewellyn Davies in Finding Neverland. Plucky, kind Charlie Bucket in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. A young Nigel Slater in Toast. Heroic Astro Boy. After a career largely spent playing friendly, good-hearted types, it appears Freddie Highmore was harbouring a dark secret full of murderous impulses and disturbing mommy issues. Either that, or he’s just decided to try something very different, as he’s signed to play the young Norman Bates in TV prequel Bates Motel.
US telly network A&E has developed the show, and appears so enthusiastic about it that it jumped straight to ordering 10 episodes of the show, with the first script written by Anthony Cipriano and the show itself to be overseen by former Lost man Carlton Cuse, who recently tweeted about the attention-grabbing construction of the Bates Motel and house on a road in Vancouver.
So Highmore will be the younger Norman Bates, with the series digging into the birth and nurturing of his twisted family relationship. It's worth noting that this sort of against-type casting is exactly what Hitchcock did with Anthony Perkins in the original film, as he'd previously been confined to clean-cut, likeable characters. Let's hope Highmore doesn't become newly typecast as a baddie in the way that Perkins was.
Max Theriot is playing Dylan, Norm's (presumably) ill-fated brother Dylan, while Vera Farmiga is on to play mother, and we all know what ends up happening to her a few years later, don’t we?