Thesp follow Desmond Llewelyn, John Cleese

LONDON — Brit thesp Ben Whishaw has been confirmed to play the role of M16 gadget master Q in upcoming James Bond pic “Skyfall.”

Whishaw, who was already announced as part of the cast of the pic alongside Daniel Craig, Judi Dench and Javier Bardem, will follow in the footsteps of Desmond Llewelyn and John Cleese to play the role of the head of Branch Q, the fictional armory division of MI6.

Whishaw is just 31 years old and his casting in the role will rep the first time in the history of the Bond franchise that Q will be younger than 007: Daniel Craig is some 12 years older than the thesp.

Whishaw’s credits include Julie Taymor’s “The Tempest,” “Brideshead Revisited,” “I’m Not There” and “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.”

Sam Mendes is set to helm the 23rd Bond pic, which will unspool in Blighty in October 2012.

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