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Mendes Casts Whishaw as Bond Gadget-Meister Q in Skyfall

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood November 25, 2011 at 11:52AM

Clearly, director Sam Mendes is seeking to update the Bond franchise and pull in some younger viewers. While Daniel Craig and Judi Dench are returning as agent 007 and his boss, M, respectively, John Cleese will not come back as Q. That role will go to a younger-generation gadget-master to be played by Ben Whishaw, 31, a terrific actor who shined as Freddy Lyon in the Brit TV series "The Hour," Ariel in Julie Taymor's "The Tempest," one of several incarnations of Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes' "I'm Not There," and Jane Campion's "Bright Star," among other films. He co-starred with Craig in "Layer Cake" as well, and stars opposite Tom Hanks in the upcoming "Cloud Atlas."
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Ben Whishaw
Ben Whishaw

Clearly, director Sam Mendes is seeking to update the Bond franchise and pull in some younger viewers. While Daniel Craig and Judi Dench are returning as agent 007 and his boss, M, respectively, John Cleese will not come back as Q. That role will go to a younger-generation gadget-master to be played by Ben Whishaw, 31, a terrific actor who shined as Freddy Lyon in the Brit TV series "The Hour," Ariel in Julie Taymor's "The Tempest," one of several incarnations of Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes' "I'm Not There," and Jane Campion's "Bright Star," among other films. He co-starred with Craig in "Layer Cake" as well, and stars opposite Tom Hanks in the upcoming "Cloud Atlas."

This article is related to: News, IN THE WORKS, Franchises


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.