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Freddie Highmore to play Norman Bates

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You can file this in the 'things I never thought I would ever see ever' folder alongside hearing the voice of Orson Welles in that animated Transformers movie.

Freddie Highmore, best known for playing kids so sweet they cause instant tooth decay in films such as Finding Neverland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, has been cast as notorious psychopath Norman Bates in new series Bates Motel.

The show acts as a modern-day prequel to the Psycho franchise, giving us "access to the dark, twisted backstory" and allowing us to "learn first hand how his mother Norma...helped forge the most well-known serial killing motel owner in history."

Which is quite an achievement, given the fierce competition from other serial killing motel owners.

The very capable Vera Farmiga (The Departed, Up In The Air) will be starring as Norma while Max Thieriot (Jumper) will be Dylan Bates, Norman's reckless brother.

The show will premiere on A&E in the US with no UK channel confirmed as yet.

(Images: All Star)

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