Well of course he’ll be more serious. It fits the tone of the new Bonds, the tone of director Sam Mendes and it fits Whishaw’s countenance as an actor. For those of you who don’t nerd out over James Bond, Q is the head of the branch of MI6 that dishes out all of Bond’s gadgets.

It has historically been a tiny part, but the increasingly comic rigmarole with Desmond Llewelyn, who played the part in all the films but one (not counting the non-Eon Bond productions) between From Russia With Love (1963) and The World is Not Enough (1999), was always one of the series’ touchstones. In the first James Bond film Dr. No (1962), Peter Burton played the character who was referred to by his proper name, Major Boothroyd, rather than his job designation as head of Q Branch, the research and development arm of the British Secret Service. John Cleese who played Q’s assistant in The World is Not Enough, took over head of Q Branch in the subsequent films after Llewelyn died in 1999.

Ben Whishaw is a terrific, classically trained actor who isn’t exactly a household name in the United States, but he was fantastic in Todd Hayne’s kaleidoscopic Bob Dylan bio I’m Not There and as the poet Keats in the achingly beautiful and criminally underseen Bright Star.  He also did a pretty terrific job as Keith Richards in Stoned, the not very good movie about Rolling Stone Brian Jones.

The question is, why such a great actor for such a traditionally tiny part? But then I guess M has never been a very big part either and that character is currently played by none other than Dame Judi Dench.

Whishaw was most recently seen in the BBC TV program The Hour. In 2012 he’ll also be seen as Richard II in a new BBC production of Shakespeare’s play and he’s got a role in Cloud Atlas from Tom Tykwer and Larry and Lana Wachowski.

Skyfall, the 23rd James Bond film from Eon Productions, is being directed by Sam Mendes. Daniel Craig returns as James Bond and he’s joined by Ralph Fiennes and Javier Bardem. The film is scheduled to open November 9, 2012.

via: UK Telegraph and everywhere

 

 

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