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One of the minds behind ‘Lost’ mulls over Norman Bates

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Updated: April 18, 2013 6:24AM

‘Lost” producer Carlton Cuse is crafting a slightly different twist on Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” and its lodging setting.

But fans of the classic thriller and Cuse’s own iconic TV creation should certainly check in when the series “Bates Motel” premieres at 9 p.m. Monday on A&E.

In the first episode, we see Norman (Freddie Highmore) find his dying father, fatally injured in an apparent accident at home. He and his mother, Norma (Vera Farmiga), subsequently depart for a Pacific Northwest seaside town. She has purchased the rundown, foreclosed Seafarer Motel and plans to reopen it.

“This is crazy, Mom,” he says.

Reimagined in 2013, “Bates Motel” is “a modern-day tragedy,” said Cuse after a South by Southwest Film Festival screening. “If you take these iconic characters of Norman Bates and his mother ... you [ask] ‘What were the factors that made Norman the guy that he becomes?’ ”

The answers that Cuse and co-producer/co-writer Kerry Ehrin (“Friday Night Lights”) concoct may surprise viewers.

“If you asked somebody, based on ‘Psycho,’ ‘How did Norman Bates become Norman Bates?’ [that person] would probably say, ‘Well, he had a mother who berated him and eventually drove him into some form of psychoses,’ ” Cuse said.

Instead, Cuse and Ehrin have created their own take on the psychological horror tale. “How Norman becomes who he is gets answered in the first 10 episodes,” Cuse said. “But the mythology of that is probably not what you think it is.”

Gannett News Service

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