One character that has yet to pop up in the rebooted James Bond universe (first established in Casino Royale) is “Q,” MI6’s resident tinkerer who creates all the wonderful spy gadgets that Bond uses in his perennial quest to thwart evil and save the world.

Q’s four decades’ worth of onscreen appearances have largely been monopolized by actor Desmond Llewelyn (who passed away in 1999), with the last onscreen iteration of the character having been inhabited by John Cleese in the 2002 Bond film, Die Another Day. However, as with many aspects of the rebooted Bond, the character of Q is getting an injection of some new (read: young) blood in the upcoming Bond flick, Skyfall.

BBC News recently reported that actor Ben Whishaw will be taking on the role of Q in Skyfall. If the name is not familiar to you, it’s probably because the actor has been featured in projects that are more popular across the pond than here in the states, namely TV series like Nathan Barley and Criminal Justice – though he has also had parts in big-screen fare like I’m Not There, Brideshead Revisited, The International, and Julie Taymor’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Still, as far as the majority of American audiences are concerned, Whishaw is largely a mystery.

Modern Bond movies have been bold in their updates to some of the franchise staples – most notably changing Bond’s boss M from male to female (played wonderfully by Judi Dench). Those changes will continue in Skyfall, as Q will – for the first time – actually be younger than Bond (Whishaw is 31 while Daniel Craig is in his early forties). While it’s a miniscule alteration to some (like myself), those ‘Bond purists’ who always seem to be waiting in the woodwork will likely be upset that a change is once again being made to Ian Fleming’s sacred material.

The many faces of Q

Since I have little knowledge of Whishaw as an actor, or what the script for Skyfall entails, it’s hard to say what the latest take on Q is going to be: will he be the dry-wit character we’re familiar with? Or will this younger Q be less confident than his previous counterparts? Does Whishaw have the timing and talent for sharp banter? Will the gadgets that Q invents be more grounded and fitting with this rebooted Bond that Craig plays? Or will we see a return to the more over-the-top futuristic technology we saw in Die Another Day? (Please, no more invisible cars, that’s all we ask!)

We’ll find out for sure when Skyfall hits UK theaters on October 26th, 2012. It will open in the U.S. a few weeks later on November 9th.

Source: BBC News