Here we have our first look at Ben Whishaw (Bright Star, I’m Not There, Perfume) as Q in Sam Mendes' Skyfall, thanks to EW. Bond got a complete overhaul starting with Casino Royale, exploring Bond's backstory and ditching the high tech gadgetry for more brutal Bourne-style action. It looks like Daniel Craig is gonna get more toys to play with, now that MI6 is under attack thanks to a looming threat from M’s (Judi Dench) past.
Whishaw is the fourth actor to take on the role of Q. The character was originally played by Peter Burton in the first Bond film, Dr. No. Desmond Llewelyn would take over for the next 17 films, becoming the only actor to appear alongside all the actors who’ve played 007, aside from Craig. After Llewelyn passed away in 1999, John Cleese was promoted from Q's assistant to Q for 2002′s Die Another Day.
Up until now, Q was traditionally played by actors considerably older than Bond himself. Having Q be a much younger character can bring something new and exciting to 007, as well as a long term Q for the next set of Bond actors for decades to come. But hasn't this young tech genius thing been done a lot recently? Here are 3 other roles that have been recast with younger, smarter characters.
Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
In Raimi's films, Peter Parker is no fool. But with the use of man-made shooters in Marc Webb's reboot, we are shown more of Peter's mechanical genius, as well as Peter working side by side with Dr. Connors as a high schooler, and not just answering questions in class as a college man.
Hank McCoy/Beast in X-Men: First Class (2011)
This is a prequel, so obviously Nicholas Hoult is much younger than Kelsey Grammer. The age differences are actually fairly similar relative to the prior casting of Hank, Xavier, and Erik. But Hank takes credit for building Cerebro in this prequel, as opposed to the comics and other films in which Xavier and Erik build Cerebro together.
Matthew Farrell in Live Free Die Hard (2007)
In the prior sequel, Die Hard With A Vengance, Bruce Willis was paired with Samuel L. Jackson, who played a Harlem electrician. Jackson is 7 years Willis' senior. In Live Free Die Hard, John McClane is paired with smart mouthed computer hacker Matthew Farrell, played by Justin Long, who is 23 years younger than Willis.