Hugh LaurieNo one can do cynical and grouchy quite like the irrepressible Hugh Laurie. We can almost hear him saying, "I never joke about my work, 007". He would make a fantastic Q, and it seems so right and perfect we wouldnt at all be surprised if he ends up playing the role in the upcoming movie. He is serious and dry enough in equal measure to not let the character fall into parody but still be the cynical mad genius we have known to grow and love. Wouldn't it be worth the price of admission alone to see Laurie getting irked by Bonds banter! Plus he's 52, just a few short years older than Llewleyn when he first played the character at 49 years old in From Russia With Love and is a versatile actor who could be used in various ways if the Bond producers want Q to do something a little more ambitious this time around. In truth, we don't really need 5 choices on this list because Laurie is so perfect!
David JasonBest known for his comedic portrayal of lovable rogue Derek Del-Boy Trotter on Brit televisions Only Fools and Horses, David Jason was the wheeler dealer who once attempted to sell ordinary tap water at premium prices as pure 'Peckham Water'! With Del Boy's history of dodgy dealing, just imagine the delight in seeing him teach Bond the high-tech gadgets that might just save his life! Jason of course would be able to play the character as more than just parody. He has also earned great acclaim for his straight roles such as his long-running ITV detective series A Touch of Frost and with his wonderful comedic timing, we have no doubt Sir David John White, OBE (his birth name) would make a fantastic Q - no matter if the Bond producers wanted serious or jovial. He would also add that older generation gravitas that Judi Dench gives to the franchise and well, he kinda looks like an older Desmond Llewelyn. Lovely jubbly, eh? Clarke Peters You might not be familiar with his name, but if youre one of the classy individuals who rate The Wire as the greatest television series of all time, (it is infinitely better than The Sopranos, in case you were wondering) youll certainly be familiar with his character, Lester Freamon. An inherently cool actor, wed love to see Clarke Peters berate Bond a bit! Plus he is an unknown for the majority, truly giving him the opportunity to carve out a character for himself without the baggage of his past roles. Of course he is American which might be blasphemous for such a British character but as a bonus, he currently lives in London, so an accent shouldnt be too much of a problem! He is also black, which doesn't bother us but we imagine it might annoy some purists....
Rowan AtkinsonLetting Mr Bean loose as Q would be pure chaos and we doubt the gadgets would be much cop either! In truth, were thinking more along the lines of Rowan Atkinson at his scowling Blackadder best and all the ingredients are present in that character to do something memorable in the Bond franchise. A physical comedian, Atkinson would have reveled in the silent era but we shouldn't forget either how funny his line delivery can be. He also has experience of the Bond world, having previously appeared in the unofficial Bond - Never Say Never Again, alongside Sean Connery. Plus, of course, he is Johnny English - the modern day parody of Bond who gets his own sequel later this year. Atkinson would be able to both homage his previous persona's but also make us forget he ever played them them, dropping the baggage of English to give us something delightful.
John CleeseQ did deadpan, and they dont get much more deadpan than this man. True, this is us hardly thinking outside the box having played R, a character in the same department in the Pierce Brosnan movies The World is Not Enough and Die Another Day and he would seem to be the natural progression into playing Q in the next movie (just like Dench crossed over both Brosnan/Craig franchises). Stick a lab coat on him and let him get on with it; we already know the once Basil Fawlty's approach and it would be a joy to behold! A few BONUS choices;
Steve Coogan - Another deadpan/cyncial performer... and drop-dead funny.
Stephen Fry - The third Blackadder veteran on this list but he's the man who explains it all on Q.I. - which is one letter away from the character, which seems right. We wouldn't actually be surprised if he worked in the gadgets department on her majesty's secret service on the side!
John De Lancie - Another franchise's long-running and very famous Q - but when you stop and think about it, he actually do something with the character that would work!
Jim Broadbent - More reminiscent of the great Desmond Llewyan, a fantastic homage would be the hiring of the great character actor Jim Broadbent who we all know can just about play any character in any universe and be the best part of the movie.
Yes... wouldn't Michael Gambon rule as Q?
Our list is mostly made up of British comedians but there's definitely room for actors like Broadbent and Gambon who are very funny but well respected veterans who can give the franchise the kind of gravitas Judi Dench does.
We would love to hear your thoughts on our fantasy casting and if you've got a great suggestion of your own for the part - do speak up!!
(article co-written by Matt Holmes)