Rihanna joins the cast of A&E’s “Bates Motel” series for its upcoming 5th and final season, which kicks off on Monday, Feb. 20 at 10 p.m. ET.
The series is a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1960 film “Psycho” (based on Robert Bloch’s novel of the same name), and depicts the lives of Norman Bates and his mother Norma prior to the events portrayed in the film, although in a modern setting.
Rihanna will be playing Marion Crane – the key role originated by Janet Leigh in Hitchcock’s film. As those who’ve seen the original will know, Marion goes on the run with a wealthy man’s money, and is later murdered in the shower by Norman Bates in one of the most iconic horror movie scenes of all time. Even if you haven’t watched the film, you’ve likely seen the infamous sequence, or images from it.
However, since this is a prequel to the film, and the producers are taking creative liberties with the source material, the Marion Crane character in the TV series may not have a similar arc as she does in the Hitchcock film, or the novel it’s based on. So I wouldn’t expect a scene in which Rihanna’s Marion Crane is murdered in a shower at the hotel. Although the below first trailer for the upcoming season hints at otherwise.
“We wanted to thrust the iconic role into a contemporary spotlight and redefine it in a meaningful and exciting new way,” executive producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin said about the casting at Comic-Con last summer. “We also heard Rihanna was a fan of the show, and we were huge fans of hers, so it was the perfect collision of creativity and fate.”
And in terms of what fans can expect from the Marion Crane character Rihanna will play, who’ll appear in multiple episodes: “We’re taking threads of that story and definitely using them so it’s recognizable, it’s just where we go with it is very different,” executive producer Kerry Ehrin said. “… It was trying to do a story about a contemporary woman with some edge, with some expectations, who isn’t perfect, who isn’t always perfectly sweet, who is in that situation, but we’re rooting for her to get what she wants.”
Ehrin adds: “Norman is in an incredibly intense and interesting place that we’ve built him to when that sequence of episodes starts… It’s this collision of ‘Bates Motel’ storytelling and then Marion Crane showing up into that. He’s in a very fragile and lonely place, and Marion Crane is a charismatic woman, she’s super present when she’s with him and she’s very attractive — all those things are exactly what he needs right at this moment.”
First premiering on March 18, 2013, “Bates Motel” is A&E’s longest-running original scripted drama series in the channel’s history. A&E hasn’t always been a network for original scripted series. The series’ lead actors, Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore, have received praise for their performances in the series, with the former receiving a Primetime Emmy Award nomination.
The first 4 seasons are streaming on Netflix, so catch up before season 5 premieres in 3 weeks.
By the way, Rihanna will also appear on the big screen in Luc Besson’s upcoming $180 million space opera, “Valerian,” an adaptation of a French sci-fi comic titled “Valérian and Laureline,” as well as in the all-woman “Ocean’s 11” movie, “Ocean’s Eight.”
A&E has premiered a first trailer for the upcoming 5th season, featuring Rihanna, although just a glimpse at the tail-end. Watch below: