A&E has signed actor Freddie Highmore as the lead for its upcoming series "Bates Motel," according to TV Guide.
Playing Norman Bates, 20-year-old Highmore emerged from an intensive search by the network to fill the iconic role in the series, which is a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 film "Psycho." The series will seek to add an original, multi-layered spin to the material.
Bates was originally played by Anthony Perkins, who reprised his role for "Psycho II" (1983), "Psycho III" (1986) and "Psycho IV: The Beginning" (1990).
In 1987, Universal TV made a television movie also called "Bates Motel," which starred Bud Cort as a mentally disturbed man who inherits Norman Bates' motel.
Highmore earned notoriety with such films as 2004's "Finding Neverland" and 2005's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
"Up in the Air" actress Vera Farmiga will play Norman's mother, Norma.
"Bates Motel" kicks off production later this year for a 2013 premiere.
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