With the new James Bond film "Skyfall" starting principle photography, it was only a matter of time until some of the mystery characters were revealed.  Weeks ago during the press conference announcing the title to the 23rd official Bond film, several actors were confirmed as part of the cast, but their respective roles were kept secret.  One of those actors, Ben Whishaw, has been confirmed to be the new Q. 

Q, short for Quartermaster, is the head of the fictitious "Q Branch", the armory and gadget supplier of MI6.  Whishaw will be the fourth actor to portray the iconic character, and the first to be younger than Bond himself.  Q first appeared in the first Bond film "Dr. No", under the character's real name Major Boothroyd, played by Peter Burton.  In the follow up, "From Russia With Love", Q would now be played by Desmond Llewelyn.  Llewelyn would go on to be the best known Q, playing the role in all but one of the subsequent Bond movies until his death in 1999.  Following Llewelyn's death, Monty Python alumni John Cleese, who was introduced in Llewelyn's last film as his assistant, took over the title of "Q" for "Die Another Day". 

Ben Whishaw is known in his native England from roles in the television series "The Hour" and the film "Layer Cake" which also starred Daniel Craig.  Q was intentionally kept out of the first two Daniel Craig Bond films to allow for a more realistic portrayal of Bond without the futuristic gadgets.  "Skyfall" is set for a November 2012 release with Craig returning for his third film as Agent 007, and Oscar winner Javier Bardem as the film's primary villain.

via BBC