The producers of Skyfall have announced the return of Q
Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, producers of the James Bond film Skyfall, today confirmed that the latest project in the series (number twenty-three, to be exact, adding to what is already the longest-running film franchise in history) will see the return of Bond's quartermaster, affectionately known as Q and played by the malleable Ben Whishaw. The producing pair made no effort to hide their enthusiasm during the announcement. "It's a real thrill to confirm the return of Q in Skyfall," the pair exclaimed. "We are delighted to have this beloved character back in the series."
Beloved indeed. Whishaw becomes the fourth actor to portray Q on screen, following the likes of Peter Burton, Desmond Llewelyn and John Cleese. Serving as the head of the research and development division of the British Secret Service, the character has not appeared in a Bond film since 2002's Die Another Day. He supplies Bond with all of his cutting-edge gadgets and typically enjoys an almost fatherly relationship with the agent, something that is sure to be re-interpreted by Whishaw given the relatively tight age gap between the two actors.
Adding to the intrigue of this casting decision is the fact that Skyfall will not be the first film in which Whishaw and Craig will share the screen. The Brit appeared alongside the current 007 in Layer Cake, while Whishaw's other roles of note include Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Bright Star and even a portrayal of legendary musician and perennial contender for ‘coolest man ever', Rolling Stone Keith Richards in Stoned.
The addition of Whishaw to this film only strengthens an already impressive cast. Co-starring alongside Craig will be brand new Bond girl Helen McCrory (Hugo, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2), Javier Bardem (whose role in the Coens' No Country For Old Men remains the kind of stuff nightmares are made of) and the ageless duo of Judi Dench (the omnipresent M) and Ralph Fiennes (new agent Gareth Mallory).
The little information provided regarding Skyfall, helmed by Sam Mendes (director of the zippy Jarhead and brilliant American Beauty), implies that the often icy relationship between Bond and M will take centre stage, as the agent's loyalty to M is tested when her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.
Skyfall is released on November 22, 2012.