There’s a new Norma Bates in town, and she looks a lot better than when last we saw her. The lead female role in the new A&E series Bates Motel has gone to Vera Farmiga, who will play a young Norma Bates, mother to the future Psycho serial killer who still makes plenty of people nervous in the shower.

The series is a prequel to the Hitchcock classic and looks at the earlier days of Norma’s relationship with her son Norman Bates, and how it impacts Norman’s future actions. Most people are familiar with the end result of that relationship; Norman murders young women in the family motel while hiding his mother’s corpse in the big old house on the hill. How did he become such a crazed killer? Well, that’s the question Bates Motel aims to answer.

The series started life as a potential miniseries, but A&E decided to go in a different direction, and gave the project a straight-to-series order, forgoing the pilot stage. They have ordered 10 episodes and plan to premiere the series in 2013. Vera Farmiga is the first of the two main roles to be cast, according to Deadline. She has plenty of television experience, having co-starred on shows like Touching Evil and UC: Undercover. She’s also appeared in a number of films including Oscar-winner The Departed.

The big question remaining in the casting department is, of course, Norman himself. A young budding serial killer who is obsessed with his mother -not just any young actor will do for this part. I am guessing A&E will go with someone relatively unknown for the part.

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