It’s Now Official – Q Will Return In Skyfall!

Skyfall Ben Whishaw as Q
Ben Whishaw as Q in Skyfall

As if fans didn’t know already, Bond producers have finally confirmed that the famous quatermaster of MI6 who has supplied 007 with gadgets galore will be returning in Skyfall. Q is coming back. Ben Whishaw will be putting a youthful spin on the iconic character made famous by Desmond Llewellyn in seventeen Bond films.

Whishaw playing Q has been rumored for months. It got to the point that it was just a given by fans, so this announcement does not come as much of a surprise. The only thing it did was make 007 fans say, “oh yeah, I knew that”.

I’m completely unfamiliar with Whishaw. Someone told me he’s done a decent amount of acting, mainly in television. He appeared in two films starring Daniel Craig (Layer Cake and Enduring Love. I wonder if Craig had some kind of influence with his casting. Either way I don’t know much about him.

The absence of Q has not gone unnoticed by Bond fans. Llewelyn’s final appearance in the role was in 1999’s The World Is Not Enough before his death later that same year. Ironically, the film groomed his assistant ‘R’ played by John Cleese. He would go onto to play the Q role in 2002’s Die Another Day. Although I never really thought of him as Q. To me it was just John Cleese in a Bond movie.

Since then Q has been absent in the two Daniel Craig Bond films and fans have been wondering if he would ever return. Director Sam Mendes has been describing Skyfall as a ‘classic Bond movie’, so the inclusion of the character seems like it would be a key ingredient to make that truly happen.

Roger Moore and Desmond Llewellyn in Octopussy
Roger Moore and Desmond Llewelyn in Octopussy

Having the character come back is a welcome sight to me. I always like the recurring characters in the Bond films and Q has always been a standout. The scenes with Llewellyn might have been short, but they were always eagerly awaited and entertaining. It was always a great to see him again and a kick to see what kind of gadgets he came up with to hand out to Bond.

Based on the tone the Craig films have been following I’m not sure Q will be portrayed as such a light, befuddled fellow who is going to exchange quips with Bond. Just looking at the photo of Whishaw as Q, he looks to be a much more serious, focused character. My guess is that he won’t be working on boombox grenade launchers or magnetic wrist watches.

If I had to bet I would say he’s going to be more of a computer geek working on tracking satellites and breaking codes to unlock security systems and that kind of stuff. But granted that’s just based off a picture I’m looking at. They could be taking him into a whole different direction and will use the character to inject ‘the fun’ some fans say the Craig films have lacked.

It will be interesting to see how this Q and Bond will interact. Will Q and Bond make off hand sarcastic jokes aimed at each other? Will Q be respectful towards Bond? Will Bond view this young geeky kid as a joke? Will this Q be in a workshop with a lot of outlandish gags going on in the background? Can anyone picture Craig’s Bond riding in a crocodile submarine?

One thing I’ll predict is that when Skyfall does finally get released inevitably comparisons between Whishaw’s and Llewelyn’s Q’s will be made. There’s no getting around it. It’s going to be really difficult to not think of Llewelyn in the role after he played the part for thirty six years.

Every interview Whishaw will give Llewelyn’s name will come up. Recasting the character was going to happen at some point. Hopefully the film and Whishaw will have a different enough take on the character that they can make him feel fresh, fit into the Craig films nicely and have this Q stand on his own.

Whatever they plan on doing with the character I just hope he helps to service the story and is an interesting character that Bond works with, perhaps begrudgingly.

Now fans will just have to await to see if Miss Moneypenny shows up….

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3 Responses

  1. Actonsteve says:

    The Desmond Llewellyn days have gone. The character needs to be revamped as James Bond does. They tried to cling on to the fusty boffin ala John Cleese and it didnt work so an new angle with a fresh face is the right direction. A load of gadgets for the sake of it is detrimental. The gadgets and Q must work within the context of the story.

  2. They have recast the character of James Bond over the years with great success. I am sure Q can successfully be replaced.

  3. Jimmy B. says:

    Well if you haven't already, I went to see Dark Knight Rises in IMAX which had the special IMAX 2nd trailer on it. It had more of the plot relived and of course the new Q. Much like the reboot Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica the characters is a product of today's time and not repeating the past which they shouldn't do. The one thing I got from the trailer it feels like a 60's bond adventure, but with a Rated-R feeling. Not like "License to Kill", but more a throw back to intrigue and character development. If you seen those official vlog's then you know about something that will happen that the movie tone will change dramatically(that's all I say). Still, I like what I see. I noting getting that "Die another Day" vibe, but a real hard core Bond story that seems to be pushing the edge a little more then the reboot this series has done. I will be seeing this in IMAX. Hap are you going to be seeing this in IMAX? Also, are you going give us your thoughts on the 2nd IMAX trailer. Still think you should get a Twitter account, if you want to shout out your early thoughts.
    Well until Nov or next trailer. Bond will return.
    Oh, one thing. I'm a music score nut here. So, if you haven't heard Thomas Newman is scoring the film. I'm miss John Barry a LOT since he left the series. While David Arnold has done a better job with the series much later, I still think he hasn't live up or made a mark with the Bond series that Barry did. I know it's hard to live up to a legend like John Barry, but I'm been a big fan of Thomas Newman and seeing him go into the realm of action I hoping for great music moments. Maybe a return of that other "007" theme. You know the one they use "From Russia with Love" right out to "Moonraker" in that amazon boat chase. I miss that other theme a a lot.

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