While we Americans recover from our Thanksgiving feasts, the SKYFALL production team is hard at work with breaking news: The Hollywood Reporter confirmed today that actor Ben Whishaw will indeed play the new Q in this 23rd Bond film.
At age 31, Whishaw will be the youngest actor to play the role and only the fourth to take on the part, starting with Peter Burton in DR. NO, then the venerable Desmond Llewelyn in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE through THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, and John Cleese‘s brief stint as his in-story replacement for DIE ANOTHER DAY. In keeping with the Daniel Craig-era of rebooting Bond, this is the first time Q will be younger than 007, which if nothing else is yet another way the filmmakers can freshen up the role — and the Bond/Q working relationship — for the 21st century.
Though rumors persisted about Whishaw being cast as the MI6 armorer, this apparently official confirmation via THR means Bond will be getting some tech support on his next mission but how much? Given how much more seriously producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson are taking the franchise since Craig earned his 00 status, FilmEdge doesn’t expect SKYFALL to resume the past trend of introducing increasingly silly gadgetry that also too neatly happened to save Bond’s life or mission goal in every film. Instead, we’re hoping that Whishaw’s Q serves more as a technical liaison and partner to Bond in the field, as modern spying involves plenty of real-world technology — from code decryption to satellite surveillance — that could benefit 007 without turning Q into a toymaker.
Certainly Ben’s youthfulness also facilitates his potential as a member of the post-hacker generation raised in a high-tech world, happily living on the cutting edge of advanced smart phones and wireless tablets with computing power that would put the Space Shuttle to shame. Whishaw’s charm and talent as an actor will also go a long way to modernize the role for Craig’s contemporary James Bond, not to mention add even more draw for audiences among his fanbase. After his excellent character work in films like 2004′s LAYER CAKE, there’s no predicting where Whishaw will take Q 2.0 — and that’s a good thing.
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