Ben Whishaw has suggested 'Bond 25' could start shooting by the end of 2018.

The 'Spectre' actor has also played Q in 'Skyfall' and he is set to reprise the role in the upcoming new instalment in the James Bond big screen saga - but he hasn't had an update from movie bosses ''for a while''.

He told the Metro: ''I haven't had an update for a while. I would imagine, I think they have a release date for next year, so I think by the end of this year we have to have started filming something.

''Although it has gone strangely quiet, but that's often the way it goes.''

Ben's character - whose initial stands for Quartermaster - is the head of Q Branch (later Division), the fictional research and development division of the British Secret Service.

Q has appeared in 21 of the 24 Eon Productions movies - with the exceptions being 'Live and Let Die', 'Casino Royale' and 'Quantum of Solace'.

The role has been played by a number of actors, most notably the late Desmond Llewelyn - who starred as the character in every film except for one from 1963 to 1999.

After Llewelyn's death in 1999, he was replaced by John Cleese, who starred in two films alongside Pierce Brosnan.

Daniel Craig is slipping into Bond's tuxedo one final time for his fifth outing as the British agent in the 25th 007 movie.

The 49-year-actor's motivation for staying in the franchise is, in part, that he will break the late Sir Roger Moore's record as the longest-serving Bond when 2019 rolls around - the year the film will be released - as he will have been in possession of the iconic part for 13 years.