With the 2006 reboot of the James Bond franchise, fans have been still waiting for one of the mainstays of the film series to make an appearance – Q, the the head of the British Secret Service division that creates all of those crazy gadgets that 007 uses on his missions.Fans can rest easy now as the Hollywood Reporter has learned that Ben Whishaw will be portraying the character in the currently in production Skyfall.
Whishaw had been a previously announced cast member, but producers were mum as to what his role would be, even avoiding the subject at the film’s recent beginning of production press conference.
Although his given name is Major Boothroyd, the head of the research and development division that creates all of 007’s gadgets is generally just known as Q. A mainstay of the Bond franchise, the character appeared in 19 out of the 20 pre-reboot films, with Live And Let Die being his only absence. Seventeen of those 19 times the character was played by Desmond Llewelyn, marking him as the series’ longest-running actor. (Peter Burton played him in the debut Bond film Dr. No. John Cleese appeared alongside Llewelyn as Q’s assistant in The World Is Not Enough before his character assumed the title in Die Another Day.)
Reportedly, the British tabloids are making a big deal of the fact that this will mark the first time that an actor playing Q is younger than the actor playing Bond. Whishaw is 31 compared to Daniel Craig’s 43. Personally, I don’t care. I like the idea that the tech genius for the British Secret Service is a young guy. Maybe they’re reimagining the character so he’s on a similar level to some of the real world tech revolutionaries that have been changing society like a Steve Jobs or Marl Zuckerberg. That makes sense to me in light of the rebooted franchise’s more realistic approach to the films. I don’t think we’ll be seeing giant space lasers and invisible cars anytime soon.