Ben Whishaw is Playing a Young Q in Sam Mendes' 'Skyfall' Bond 23
"Must you touch everything?" Well this is odd casting, but we'll have to accept it. THR is reporting that Ben Whishaw (in Layer Cake, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, The Tempest, Cloud Atlas) will be playing a young agent Q in Sam Mendes' Bond 23, officially titled Skyfall, now shooting in England. Q is an iconic character from the original movies, played by one of my all-time favorite actors Desmond Llewelyn (seen right above), and hasn't appeared in the new Daniel Craig reboot yet. I didn't expect this kind of casting to be confirmed, but here we go. THR simply says that Whishaw is "reported to have been assigned the role."
Q (which stands for Quartermaster), like M, is a job title rather than a name. He is the head of Q Branch (or later the Q Division), the fictional research and development division of the MI6 British Secret Service. The character actually appears only fleetingly in Ian Fleming's novels, but he was a prominent character throughout the earlier Bond films, portrayed most often by Desmond Llewelyn, later by John Cleese. Q has appeared in 19 of 22 of EON Bond films; all except Live and Let Die, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.
Ben Whishaw is a young British actor, only 31 years old, on the rise mostly in Europe working primarily with European directors so far. He's immensely talented and Perfume is one of my favorite films because of his performance in it. It's a bit odd that this Q will be younger than James Bond himself (Daniel Craig is 43), but then again maybe they're going to claim that Q is an interchangeable character just like 007 himself. Skyfall is being directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Away We Go), and also stars Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes and Albert Finney among others. Production is currently underway, and Columbia Pictures has the film scheduled for release in the US on November 9th next year.