It was announced today during Comic-Con 2016 that Bates Motel Season 5 will be the show’s last—but that wasn’t even the biggest news to come out of the panel. In addition to the fact that the Psycho prequel series is winding down, Rihanna is joining the cast to bring this thing home in the iconic role of Marion Crane. Played by Janet Leigh in Alfred Hitchcock classic thriller, Crane was famously presented to audiences as the “star” of Psycho before being killed off in the first act.
It’s unclear how many episodes Rihanna will be in or how much the role of Marion will be changed for this contemporary setting. In the original film, she arrived at the Bates Motel on the run for stealing a large swath of cash, and it’s the investigation into her disappearance that finally hips the cops to Norman’s serial killer tendencies. So it’ll be interesting to see if Rihanna pops up at the beginning of the season, with the cops sniffing around the place over the remaining episodes, or if she arrives further into the final batch of episodes. Executive producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin had this to say about the casting choice:
“We wanted to thrust the iconic role into a contemporary spotlight and redefine it in a meaningful and exciting new way. 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.”
Indeed, A&E also announced that Bates Motel Season 5 will be its last, which is not a huge surprise given that the Season 4 finale saw Freddie Highmore’s Norman finally kill his mother Norma (Vera Farmiga). Cuse and Ehrin assured the Comic-Con audience that Farmiga is returning as a series regular, as she’ll exist as part of Norman’s conscience. Moreover, Farmiga will be an executive producer on this fifth and final season while co-star Max Thieriot will make his directorial debut, Nestor Carbonell will direct his third episode, and Highmore will write his second episode.
Production on Bates Motel Season 5 begins in Vancouver this fall and will air on A&E in 2017.