James Bond ‘Skyfall’ Finds Its Q

Published 3 years ago by , Updated August 2nd, 2013 at 10:14 am,

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.

James Bond films Qs James Bond Skyfall Finds Its Q

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


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  1. Okay favorite Bond is definitely Timothy Dalton. Probably because his films were the first ones I watched as a kid and partly because I think he just nailed the character.

    Of course Sean Connery was great although he wasn’t the first to bring the character to life on the screen, he was the one who really established the character and made it his own.

    Poor George Lazenby had such big shoes to fill. It’s like the producers were setting him up to fail. I think he could have been great if he was given a few more films to do.

    Roger Moore was like the anti-Bond Bond. He basically took everything that everyone had come to expect from James Bond and changed it. From cigarettes to cigars; from martinis to champagne; from the Astin Martin to the Lotus; from cold and serious to warm and easy going. Of course his films did introduce some of the better gadgets and stunts.

    My personal favorite Timothy Dalton as I said before seems to have got it all right. The tough resolve the friendly demeanor and the dark humor. Plus he did all of his own stunts. Wish he could have done more films. Can you imagine if he had picked up the role for On Her Majestys Secret Service after Connery left? All I can say is “Wow!”.

    Pierce Brosnan I think did a good job of combining Moore’s and Dalton’s Bond’s and I have to say besides Die Another Day I enjoyed all of his films immensely. Wish he would have done at least one more.

    Daniel Craig is just a bad ass. But I hope that his Bond gets to develop more sympathy instead of just being a ruthless killing machine. Of course I’d settle for a on/off switch for his killing instinct.

  2. @Claude

    Another question is if this was a reboot why didn’t they make the movies in the same order as the novels this time? You know make Live and Let Die instead of Quantum of Solace? Guess we’ll never know.

  3. Okay so who do you guys think should replace Craig as Bond after he’s done.

    My list is as follows
    Karl Urban
    Eric Bana
    Hugh Jackman
    Michael Fassbender
    Damian Lewis

    • Brandon, I did a piece about that a while back.
      I thought

      Michael Fassbender
      Idris Elba
      Clive Owen
      Jon Hamm
      Tom Hardy

      Give it a read if you get a chance.

  4. Here’s my piece on the best Bond for anyone who is interested.

  5. @ Drsambeckett

    Interesering article. Very well thought out.

  6. Sorry that should say interesting. Stupid small touch keyboards on cell phones.

  7. @Drsambeckett,
    Not a bad article. I agree with you on most issues especially regarding the Bond you grew up watching being most likely your favourite. Funny I was just thinking same a couple of days ago. Not a 100% accurate yardstick but quite likely.
    I do disagree with you on Dalton though. Didn’t think he left a lasting impression and License to Kill was to me one of those mundane Bond movies I referred to earlier. The type ‘Miami Vice’boys could have handled easily. And one of the few ‘personalized’ Bond movies like OHMSS where his private matters take centre-stage and almost felt like a series. But unlike OHMSS, which I liked, Bond here had a Rambo-like vendetta. I know you disagree, which is the beauty of Bond. Varied tastes. However I was thrilled to see you shared my sentiments for the most part.

    Sorry, Kofi :) this won’t happen again.

  8. @Claude
    Which is why Licence To Kill was such a good movie. It showed Bond going rogue and going all out to avenge his friend.

  9. @Claude

    Which is why Licence To Kill was such a good movie. It showed Bond going rogue and going all out to avenge his friend.

  10. @Brandon,

    Too Rambo for me. I’m sorry but just coming out of a decade (80s) where such a theme (avenge my bro/friend/master) had been overflogged by Stallone, Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Seagal, Charles Bronson and others, Licensed to Kill story was not in the least novel to me.

  11. @ Claude
    The producers of James Bond always follow the current trends in for lack of a better word cinema. Examples include blaxploitation in Live and Let Die, scifi in Moonraker, revenge movie Licence To Kill, and the whole Jason Bourne fighting style in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. Trust me if musicals ever become big box office makers then I’m sure we’ll see James Bond doing karaoke or something like that.

  12. What? Another one of these movies? Why? There’s already been like fifty of them and none of them were any good! At all! Why not spend money on original screenplays instead of wasting money on this outdated crap?

  13. Ben Wishaw is an incredibly talented actor! Glad to see him getting some notice! If you don’t know who he is or if he can do the job, just watch BBC’s “The Hour”. Awesome!

  14. I’m glad to see that MGM at least stepped back to the roots of fun-giving 007 moviemaking by lettin Q return with the glamour of gadgeting Mr Bond again. That has always been one of my favourites to watch: the sometimes unbelievable innovative and crazy (it’s true the invisible car wasn’t necessary)toys and of course the interaction of Q vs Bond in the (really to) short scenes they have had. As I grew up in the 70s with the Roger Moore- Bond who’s Bond was so huge self-ironic and easy going that I couldn’t appreciate the follower Dalton. Too dry too to unamused too uncharming was his presence. On the other hand Brosnan convinced me totally. There was the old Bond-spirit back again. He was funny and tough didn’t take anything really serious and I was shocked to see him leaving the Bond to Mr 00Killer Daniel Craig. That for me was the beginning of the “Action Movie featuring James Bond”. No more remarkable two liners. No more Martinis, no more easy going Bond-Girls, no more Q never more nothing. I was and still am disappointed. I couldn’t imagine before that Bond could hop like a frog from rooftop to a crane before I saw it on Casino Royale and that was not Gentleman-like… And if it’s not Gentleman-like why using a British actor? Take any one … At least whatS with the Martinis?

  15. Ben Whishaw is indeed a good actor, however, Q is supposed to be a grown up! I appreciate they are trying to revamp it but James Bond is a British institution. If there is an iPhone app gadget I will leave the cinema in protest.