'Bates Motel' gets a Norman, 'Skyfall' gets Adele; 'Guardians' gets a Gunn

20 year-old British actor Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Spiderwick Chronicles, August Rush) has signed on to play young Norman Bates in A&E’s upcoming series Bates Motel, which serves as a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock horror classic Psycho. The series will examine the relationship between mother and son and what drives the young-man to become the killer in the classic movie. Vera Farmiga has signed on to play Norma Bates, the domineering that somehow drove her child to kill. Also, has been noted elsewhere, showrunner Carlton Cuse seems to understand that this new series could be interpreted as reworking of the Showtime movie from years ago called Psycho IV: The Beginning. So to distance themselves from that and all it’s continuity issues, it seems the Bates Motel will be more of a reimaging of Norman Bates life; which means now Norman has an older brother named Dylan, played by Max Thieriot. Of course this now begs the question how Norman and Norma become so tangled when there is an older brother out in this universe (because even in the movie and its sequel’s and prequel’s, Norman was always an only child). Is this a good wrinkle or desperate grab to find a viewing audience who would not normally want to sit down through another rehash of this franchise?

New Line acquired the rights to Maggie Stiefvater‘s young adult novel The Raven Boys before it is release in early September.  Akiva Goldsman will produce the adaptation, “a love story with a twist revolves around the offspring of psychic parents who is told that if she find her true love and kisses him then he will die.”

 

It’s been rumored for months but has finally been confirmed that British singer Adele has been handed the job of writing and performing the title song to the James Bond film Skyfall. While the Bond songs have all been hits, the last two from Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, failed to ignite the music world. For that, you have to go back to 1985’s View to a Kill, which was performed by Duran Duran at the height of their popularity. Since then, only Garbage’s The World is Not Enough and Madonna’s love it or hate it Die Another Day have had any radio air play. I’ll be curious to see if she can chart this song as high as the hits from her last album, 21. Thomas Newman, who has scored many films as far back as 1984 and has written all the music to Sam Mendes’ films, will score his first Bond film with Skyfall.

It’s been hinted for well over a month, but it’s now been confirmed that James Gunn (Super) will direct Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.  He’s also rewriting Chris McCoy and Nicole Perlman‘s script.  Gunn is a more or less an inspired choice as he’s a bit offbeat, which could help this film, as it’s probably the oddest movie Marvel could choose to bring to the screen -I mean, it does has a talking space raccoon. According to The Avengers writer/director Joss Whedon, Gunn is a perfect choice to direct it. “He has a very twisted take on it, but it all comes from a real love for the material. It’s going to be hard for the humans to keep up. I know he’s going to come from left field and I’m going to go, ‘What?’ And then, ‘Of course, why didn’t I think of that?’ And then I’m going to beat him!” The movie is scheduled for August 1, 2014.

Lost’s Ken Leung and Amy Irving have scored recurring roles on ABC’s midseason conspiracy drama Zero Hour, which stars ER’s Anthony Edwards as an editor of a skeptic magazine, who after 20 years, becomes involved in one of the most extraordinary conspiracies in human history. Irving will play a seemingly innocent, philanthropic and ordinary mother who turns out to be anything but. Married into money and well connected to the community through the charity that she runs, her plans border on both mysterious and dangerous. Leung will play Father Reggie, a mysterious priest who knows more than we initially think.

Since Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, both the movie studios and broadcast networks are working overtime to bring fairy tales (also known as public domain characters) to the audience’s eyes. Most of the classic stories are being re-imaged as dramas and procedural’s –Once Upon a Time and Grimm in particular, but the CW has the new version of Beauty and the Beast (but FOX has Sleepy Hollow with Ichabod Crane partnering up with a female cop, as well as another series that will update Peter Pan’s The Lost Boys). And that small network is where a new take on Alice in Wonderland has landed from producer McG. The broadcaster has announced Wunderland, a story that recasts Alice as a cop who discovers a secret, fantastical underworld just below Los Angeles. Strikingly, this sounds like the plot to their own Beast series, except that one is set in New York and features an attorney.

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