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When Bates Motel came to its conclusion in Season 4, fans were left with their jaws hanging open, as the drama finally took a huge plunge into the waters that will connect this origin story to Psycho. Season 5 appears as if it will be a reimagining of how things played out in Robert Bloch's novel and Alfred Hitchcock's famed adaptation, and the show will soon introduce its take on the film's "hero" Sam Loomis, and recent Walking Dead star Austin Nichols has been tapped to take on the iconic role.
Austin Nichols, who was last seen along with everyone else in The Walking Dead's Season 7 mid-year finale, will be a part of Bates Motel in a recurring capacity. It's not immediately clear if this will be a role that will compare heavily to the Sam Loomis of the film/novel, but it should be interesting to see how things are handled. The casting was initially revealed through a Season 5 press release, and Deadline reports that Nichols' Loomis will be an enigmatic and genial new arrival in White Pine Bay who doesn't take long in building up a most unfriendly relationship with Norman.
Previous casting of Isabelle McNally as Madeline Loomis, with no mention of Sam's name, led many to believe that Bates Motel would be completely changing up the story of how Psycho half-lead Marion Crane's love life went, but this seems to clear that up. Marion, who will be played by attention-grabbing pop star Rhianna for TV, had an illicit romance going with Sam in the source material, which is how she ended up at the Bates Motel to begin with. And to end with. Cue that killer score.
For a multi-episode narrative, it's clear that Bates Motel will be expanding upon the role originally played by John Gavin, especially since this trio of newcomers will be used to further draw out Norman's deepening psychosis, now that he's in Full Mother Mode. It's extremely hard to tell how everyone's stories will end on the small screen, but my money is on Carlton Cuse and the rest of the Bates Motel creative team to bring some big twists to the proceedings.
Though he has recently been most recognizable for his gutsy role of Spencer Morgan on The Walking Dead, the actor has been all over TV and film in the past 15 years or so. One Tree Hill fans know him quite well, and he's also known for shows like John From Cincinnati and Ray Donovan, not to mention a small role on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. a few years back. This could be an even bigger breakthrough for Nichols as far as horror TV goes, since he wasn't given all that much to do within Walking Dead's massive ensemble.