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Ben Whishaw to play Q in new Bond film "Skyfall"

German actress Schwarz poses with British actor Whishaw before the premiere of the film "The Perfume" in Munich
German actress Schwarz poses with British actor Whishaw before the premiere of the film "The Perfume" in Munich

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - British actor Ben Whishaw will reprise the character of high-tech weapons specialist "Q" in the upcoming James Bond film "Skyfall," a role previously played by actors Desmond Llewelyn and John Cleese, media outlets reported on Friday.

The BBC said Whishaw's agent confirmed the young actor in the role of Q opposite Daniel Craig's Bond in the upcoming 23rd installment of the franchise, directed by Sam Mendes.

Whishaw was introduced as a cast member in a London press conference announcing production on "Skyfall" last month, but his specific role was not revealed at the time.

Q, who dreams up the super secret weapons that British spy Bond uses to track down bad guys, has long been one of the favorite characters in the action-packed movies.

At 31, Whishaw, known for roles in 2008's "Brideshead Revisited" and BBC's drama series "The Hour," is considerably younger than his Q predecessors Llewelyn and Cleese.

Welsh actor Llewelyn played Bond's gadget scientist for 36 years, delivering his trademark reprimands on the hazards of gun play to Bond actors Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan.

After Llewelyn's death in a fatal car collision in 1999 aged 85, "Fawlty Towers" actor John Cleese took over the role of Q for 2002's "Die Another Day."

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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