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That Adorable Kid From Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Is Going To Play Norman Bates

Freddie Highmore, whose adorable mug you may remember from Finding Neverland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, has just secured a role in A&E’s Psycho prequel. The actor will be playing Norman Bates. The rest on that disturbing news plus who will play his brother (his brother!?) after the jump. 

We previously heard not only was this prequel, called Bates Motel, actually happening, but they were already far into the casting stage. Vera Farmiga is set to play Norman’s mother, Norma, in the series.

Highmore, who thankfully hasn’t asked Hollywood to call him Fred, Fredrick, (or his real name Alfred Thomas) yet, will play the role made famous by Anthony Perkins in the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho. Just a handful of actors have played Norman Bates since Perkins. Kurt Paul played him in a TV film also titled Bates Motel while Henry Thomas played a young Norman just a few years later in televisions Psycho IV: The Beginning. And we’ll all try and forget Vince Vaughn’s take in the 1998 film remake.

“We are incredibly excited to start production on Bates Motel. We think our take on the Bates family will both be surprising and subvert expectations.  We can’t wait for people to check in,” writer/executive producer Carlton Cuse told The Hollywood Reporter. The prequel is focused on exploring Norman’s relationship with his mother, a relationship we all know led to some very bad behavior down the road.

Meanwhile, Norman’s brother has also been cast. Max Thieriot will play an older brother named Dylan according to THR. He’s “described as a petulant and rebellious James Dean-type.”

So, what do you think of this casting and the overall concept? Obviously actors aren’t meant to play just one type of role but I’m gonna have a hard time disconnecting Highmore from his previous child roles.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

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  • Alexis the Unicorn

    I think this will definitely be an interesting experience, to say the least. To be honest, Freddie doesn’t look like the type for the role, but that could really work for him. I’m hoping that this will grow into something like the Shining. You know, a man slowly losing his mind. Otherwise, I can’t see this going too well. I’m still gonna try to like it, in a way unconnected to the original Psycho.

  • Kim Krzebiot

    True, Freddie’s known for his many roles in kid’s movies. The last thing I saw him in, though, was The Art of Getting By, in which he plays a rebellious teen. I think he did a great job, and did a good job of getting me to stop thinking of him as just some child star. I don’t know if he has the face for it, but I think it’s going to be interesting to see what he does with the role.

  • Jasmin Billinghay

    Freddie Highmore has always terrified me. This is just further proof that I was right all along.

  • Gina

    What I think is funny is Anthony Perkins, whose most famous role would be Norman, was cast against type. He was the matinee idol good boy who always got the girl. No one thought, at the time, he could pull off creepy. So, I’m intrigued.

  • Rebecca

    Hmmm… I can see it. I always found him a bit creepy in an adorable moppet sort of way.

    EDIT: I’m just going to throw this out there… Anthony Perkins and Andrew Garfield have always looked eerily similar to me. Anyone else see it?

  • Rebecca

    His character in On the Beach, which only came out about a year before Psycho, was so freaking adorable. Like, puppies, rainbows and kittens adorable. Watching a double bill of that and Psycho would be one hell of a head trip.

  • Brian Adkins

    Hey,he couldn’t be any weirder than Johnny Depp,right? ;-)

  • Erica Throne

    The last thing I saw him in was Toast, and I had no idea he was the boy from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He’s grown so fast! But yes, already stopped thinking of him as a kid. He’s a fabulous young actor. Now I’m sincerely interested in watching the show. I was going to pass on it before.

  • Lucy

    I also had a hard time picturing Freddie Highmore as the
    creepy Norman Bates. But at the insistence of a co-worker at Dish, I watched
    his most recent movie with Blockbuster @Home. I was surprised at how much he
    has matured from the baby faced Charlie, into a leading man, giving me hope for
    this series. To be sure, I ordered more of his movies by mail, exchanging them
    in the store if I was feeling impatient. I am convinced that he has enough versatility
    to pull off such an iconic role. The direction the show is taking sounds quite
    interesting. It will be exciting to see the beginnings of cinemas most memorable