|Name:||Ethan Matthew Hunt|
|Date of birth:||August 18, 1964|
United States of America
General Anatoly Fedorov
United States Army (formerly)
|Profession:||Training Officer (former),|
Field Team Leader
Julia Hunt (née Meade)
Claire Phelps (formerly)
|Played by:||Tom Cruise |
|First appearance:||Mission: Impossible|
|Last appearance:||Mission: Impossible VI|
Ethan Matthew Hunt (born August 18, 1964) is a senior field operations agent for the IMF, an elite, top-secret espionage and covert operations agency that handles dangerous and highly sensitive international missions that have been deemed "impossible". He is portrayed by Tom Cruise.
Early life Edit
Ethan Matthew Hunt was born in Madison, Wisconsin, the only child of Margaret and Nathan Hunt. Raised on a dairy farm in Middlefield, New York, he enlisted in the Army right out of high school. Ethan enlisted for the Infantry military occupational specialty and decided that he would become an Army Ranger. After graduating Basic, Advanced Individual, and Airborne Training, Ethan was sent to the Ranger Indoctrination Program. Upon graduation of RIP, he was placed in the 75th Ranger Regiment's 3rd Battalion, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Daniel David Briggs. He then attended and passed Ranger School, where he earned his Ranger Tab. Ethan eventually fought in combat during Operation Desert Storm.
After four distinguished years in the Army, Ethan went on to attend the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a double major in Engineering and International Relations. Upon graduating from Pennsylvania, he immediately sought employment with the Central Intelligence Agency. Before Ethan could join the Agency, he had to go through background checks, take the entrance exam, and go through a series of interviews and psychological tests. Upon passing the entrance and psychological examinations, Ethan was contacted by Colonel Briggs, who had joined the CIA in a high-level position a few years before and he believed Ethan would be perfect for a organization outside of the Agency. In short order, he was recruited into an ultra-secret agency called the Impossible Mission Force.
Although he was initially only told that he would be tasked with "unconventional black ops", Ethan exuberantly accepted the job offer. Afterwards he was informed of IMF's mandate. He then went through an intensive operational training course to train him in so-called "operational intelligence" or "tradecraft" skills, including surveillance, clandestine photography, infiltration, and exfiltration techniques. He was also trained for night parachuting, tactical high speed emergency driving, rappelling from helicopters, and dry and wet demolition. Because of his military experience, Ethan excelled through training.
Once he completed training, he was given the "cover legend" of a systems analyst for the U.S. Department of Transportation and placed in a five person team (called an "IM Force") as the team's point man. Led by Senior Agent Jim Phelps, the team's job was to infiltrate secure installations, seize critical intelligence, destroy dangerous data or equipment, and neutralize the enemy as needed, without leaving a trace. The Impossible Missions Force is different than most intelligence organizations in that, once their orders have been given, there are no required procedures for the fulfillment of the mission. Therefore, Ethan and his fellow agents could use whatever means they deem necessary. Success was all that matters. The downside was, of course, obvious. If a team member was captured or killed, the Secretary of State would disavow any knowledge of his or her actions.
Apparent Betrayal Edit
Just a few months into his IMF career, Ethan's team assembled for a mission in Prague that would change Ethan's life dramatically. The objective of the mission was to prevent a U.S. diplomat from selling the Non-official cover (NOC) list - a comprehensive list of all covert agents in Eastern Europe. The mission went inextricably wrong, resulting in the deaths of the team, leaving Ethan the sole survivor. Fleeing the scene, Ethan met with Eugene Kittridge, the CIA-based director of the IMF, at a café. Ethan, very much in shock, was disturbed to learn from Kittridge that a mole, codenamed Job, had infiltrated IMF, and that the Prague operation was meant to ferret Job out by allowing the mole to acquire the NOC list and attempt to sell it to "Max", an illegal arms dealer known for corrupting IMF agents. The NOC list in Prague was fake, the real list being held in CIA headquarters in Virginia. With Ethan the sole survivor, the CIA believed he was the mole. Ethan realizes this, and mounted a daring escape from the café, fleeing into Prague.
Ethan returned to the IMF safe house, where he discovered fellow IMF agent Claire Phelps, Phelps's wife, actually survived the mission. Ethan began a correspondence with "Max" (a woman), explaining that the NOC list was a fake and offering to deliver the real NOC list in exchange for the identity of the mole. Max agreed to the deal and offered Ethan a cash advance, which Ethan used to assemble a team of disavowed former IMF agents, including computer expert Luther Stickell and pilot Franz Krieger. The new team infiltrated the heavily fortified headquarters of the CIA in Langley and successfully stole a copy of the full NOC list before escaping to a safe house in London. Once there, Ethan discovered that his uncle and mother had been falsely arrested for drug trafficking in an attempt to lure him out. This infuriated Hunt, and he contacted Kittridge, who offered to drop the false charges the moment Ethan surrendered to authorities. Ethan hung up, after allowing Kittridge to trace him to the London area, turned around and walked right into Jim Phelps.
Phelps, presumed dead in the Prague operation, revealed that Kittridge was the mole and was tying up loose ends by trying to apprehend Ethan. Ethan reflected on this, while in reality piecing together the clues he discovered leading up to his operation and realized that Phelps was the mole, Job. Ethan pretended to accept the story while being uncertain about Claire's place in the conspiracy. The next day, Max and Ethan arranged to meet aboard the TGV en route to Paris, with Claire and Luther aboard to provide backup. Kittridge was also aboard, having recently arrived in London and received tickets for the TGV and a video watch from Ethan. In the train, Ethan delivered the supposed NOC list to Max, who directed him to the luggage compartment to find his money, and Job. Max then attempted to transmit the NOC list to a server, an operation hindered by Luther, who activated a jamming device to prevent the upload. Claire, observing Kittridge's presence aboard the train, vacated her seat and met with Phelps in the luggage car, confirming her part in the conspiracy. A silent "Phelps" slowly peeled away his mask, revealing himself as Ethan. Suddenly, the real Phelps appeared, armed and demanding the NOC list money. Ethan surrendered it before pulling out a pair of glasses. He slid them over his eyes, activating the camera inside and transmitting Phelps's image to Kittridge, proving beyond a doubt that Phelps was still alive.
Phelps, now revealed as the traitor, shot Claire in anger when she spoke against killing Ethan. He then beat Ethan down before escaping to the roof of the train, where Krieger, also a traitor, waited to extract him with a helicopter. Ethan recovered and followed Phelps, impeded his efforts to escape and tethered Krieger's helicopter to the train as it headed into the Channel Tunnel. The fight continued, with the helicopter now following the train inside the tunnel. The two fought atop the wind-swept train before Phelps disconnected the helicopter from the train and attempted to escape. Ethan followed, leapt onto the helicopter's landing skids and attached explosive gum to the windshield. The ensuing explosion killed Phelps and Krieger, with Ethan narrowly escaping. Kittridge, now in possession of the NOC list and Max's true identity, dropped his investigation against Ethan and reinstated Luther as an IMF agent.
A little while later, as Ethan was on a plane flying home, a flight attendant approached him and through a coded phrase asked if he's ready for another mission; because of his actions during the crisis, Ethan was promoted to the position of team leader. After being given the new cover legend of a traffic engineer who studies traffic patterns for the Virginia Department of Transportation, he officially became a "senior field operations agent." Since then, Ethan Hunt has become the Impossible Mission Force's premier field agent.
Chimera Mission Edit
In 2000, Ethan Hunt, while vacationing, is alerted by the IMF that someone has used his identity to assist Russian bio-chemical expert Dr. Vladimir Nekhorvich of Biocyte Pharmaceuticals to enter the United States, only to kill him in a subsequent plane crash. Nekhorvich, an old friend of Ethan, had forewarned the IMF of his arrival, planning to deliver a new bioweapon, Chimera, and its cure, Bellerophon, both of which he was forced to develop by Biocyte, into the IMF's hands. With his death, IMF is worried that the virus is out in the open, believing that rogue IMF agent Sean Ambrose is responsible. IMF assigns Ethan to recover it. Ethan is told that he can use two members of his team to help him, but the third person to help him must be Nyah Nordoff-Hall, a professional thief presently operating in Seville, Spain, as she will be able to get close to Ambrose, being an ex-girlfriend.
After recruiting Nyah, Ethan meets his team--computer expert Luther Stickell and pilot Billy Baird in Sydney, Australia, where Biocyte laboratories are located along with Ambrose's headquarters. As Ethan and the others stake out Biocyte, Nyah gets close to Ambrose and begins to work him for information related to the Chimera virus. At a horse racing event, Ambrose quietly meets with Biocyte's CEO, John C. McCloy, and shows him a video of the Chimera virus affecting one of Nekhorvich's colleagues, taken from Biocyte, so he can blackmail McCloy into cooperating with them. Nyah is able to pocket the video footage long enough to transfer it to Ethan and his team, who learn that the Chimera virus has a 20-hour dormant period before it causes death through mass destruction of the victim's red blood cells. Bellerophon can save the victim only if used within that 20-hour window.
The IMF team kidnaps McCloy and learns that Nekhorvich had actually injected himself with Chimera, the only way he could smuggle the virus from Biocyte, and had all the known samples of Bellerophon, now presently in Ambrose's hands. Ambrose had forced McCloy to sell him the virus for £37,000,000 in exchange for the samples of Bellerophon. Ethan's team plans to break into Biocyte and destroy the virus. Ambrose, posing as Ethan, tricks Nyah into revealing Ethan's plan. Ambrose secures Nyah and prepares to raid Biocyte himself to secure the virus. Ethan is able to destroy all but one sample of the virus before Ambrose interrupts him, and a firefight ensues. Ethan learns that Ambrose is holding Nyah and stops firing, during which Ambrose orders Nyah to retrieve the last sample. When she does so, she injects herself with it, thus preventing Ambrose from simply killing her to get it. As Ambrose takes Nyah and Ethan escapes from the laboratory in the ensuing gun battle between Ambrose's men and Biocyte security, Ethan starts a 20-hour countdown before the virus takes over Nyah's body.
Ambrose opts to let Nyah wander the streets of Sydney in a daze, intending to trigger a Chimera pandemic in Australia, and orders McCloy to effectively hand over enough control of Biocyte to make him the majority shareholder; Ambrose's plan is now to make a fortune when prices of Biocyte's stock skyrocket due to demand for Bellerophon. Ethan's team is able to locate and infiltrate the meeting, stealing the samples of Bellerophon while taking out many of Ambrose's men. Luther and Billy locate Nyah, who has wandered to a cliff side, intent on killing herself to prevent Chimera from spreading. As the two IMF agents bring Nyah to Ethan, he and Ambrose engage in a fist fight. With little time left on the 20-hour countdown, Ethan finally gains the upper hand over Ambrose and shoots him dead, and Luther injects Nyah with Bellerophon. IMF clears Nyah's criminal record, and allows Ethan to continue his vacation with her in Sydney.
Hunt for the Rabbit's Foot Edit
In 2006, Ethan Hunt has retired from field work for the Impossible Missions Force and instead trains recruits while settling down with Julia a nurse who is unaware of Ethan's true job. Ethan is approached by fellow IMF agent John Musgrave about a mission to rescue one of Ethan's protégés, Lindsey Farris, who was captured while investigating arms dealer Owen Davian. Musgrave has already prepared a team for Ethan: Declan Gormley, Zhen Lei, and his old partner Luther Stickell who are waiting in Berlin.
The team rescues Lindsey and collects two damaged laptop computers. As they flee via helicopter, Ethan discovers an explosive pellet implanted in Lindsey's head. Before he can disable it, it goes off and kills her. Back in the U.S., Ethan and Musgrave are reprimanded by IMF Director Theodore Brassel. Ethan learns that Lindsey mailed him a postcard before her capture and discovers a magnetic microdot under the stamp.
IMF technician Benji Dunn recovers enough data from the laptops to determine Davian will be in Vatican City to obtain a mysterious object called the "Rabbit's Foot". Ethan plans a mission to capture Davian without seeking official approval. Before leaving, he and Julia have an impromptu wedding at the hospital's chapel. The team successfully infiltrates Vatican City and captures Davian.
On the flight back to the U.S., Davian threatens to kill Ethan and his loved ones. Ethan then threatens to drop Davian out of the plane, during which Davian overhears Luther calling Ethan by his first name. After landing, Ethan learns that the microdot contains a video of Lindsey warning that she believes Brassel is working with Davian. The convoy taking Davian across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge–Tunnel is suddenly attacked, and Davian escapes. Fearing for Julia's safety, Ethan races to the hospital, only to find she has already been taken. Davian gives Ethan 48 hours to recover the Rabbit's Foot in exchange for Julia's life, but Ethan is soon captured by the IMF.
Musgrave takes part in Ethan's interrogation but discreetly mouths that the Rabbit's Foot is located in Shanghai, China, and provides Ethan with the means to escape. Ethan and his team raid the building where the Rabbit's Foot is secured, and inform Davian that they have the Rabbit's Foot. Ethan, delivering the Rabbit's Foot alone, is forced to take a tranquilizer. As he comes to, he realizes a micro-explosive is implanted in his head. The restrained Ethan sees Davian apparently holding Julia at gunpoint (the full scene opens the movie). Despite Ethan asserting that he brought the real Rabbit's Foot, Davian shoots Julia and leaves.
Musgrave arrives and explains that the woman killed by Davian was not Julia, but Davian's head of security in a mask, executed for failing to protect Davian in Vatican City. The Julia-mask was used to force Ethan to confirm the authenticity of the Rabbit's Foot. The real Julia is alive and held as Davian's hostage. Musgrave reveals himself as the mole, having arranged for Davian to acquire the Rabbit's Foot to sell to a terrorist group so the IMF would have reason to launch a preemptive strike. Musgrave asks Ethan about the microdot Lindsey sent, wanting to know if Lindsay had compromised him. To convince Ethan to cooperate, Musgrave dials his phone for Ethan to hear Julia's voice to confirm she is alive. Ethan bites on Musgrave's hand and knocks him unconscious, freeing himself, and uses Musgrave's phone (with Benji's help) to track down the location of Musgrave's last call. Ethan finds Davian and pushes him into the path of a truck, but not before Davian triggers the countdown of the micro-explosive. Freeing Julia, Ethan instructs her to electrocute him, deactivate the explosive, and then revive him. He also instructs her in using a gun for her protection. While reviving Ethan, Julia fatally shoots Musgrave. She successfully revives Ethan, and he explains his true IMF career to her.
Back in the U.S., Brassel congratulates Ethan as he leaves for his honeymoon with Julia. Ethan is unsure if he will return to the IMF. Brassel promises that he will tell Ethan what the Rabbit's Foot is if Ethan will promise to return. Ethan smiles and walks off with Julia.
Endangered Marriage Edit
Between 2006 and 2011, Ethan and Julia were both together in Croatia until Hunt realized that the only way to protect her from death was to fake it. Agent William Brandt was assigned to watch the family, following Ethan one day as he went for a jog. Brandt assigned two men to watch Julia before he left and after returning, he found them both unconscious and Julia gone. Days later, Brandt was told that what was left of Julia's body had been found. In apparent retaliation for his wife's murder, Hunt killed six Serbian nationalists linked to the crime, and as a result was sent to Rankow Prison. In reality, the IMF invented this cover to allow Hunt to inflitrate the prison, in the hope of gaining information in regards to a terrorist named Cobalt. Julia, now safe, was kept a secret by Ethan, who had to keep his distance from her.
In 2011, in the wake of the bombing of the Kremlin at the hands of Kurt Hendricks, Hunt and the entire IMF team was disavowed, and the remaining crew were branded as terrorists. In the end, the mission was accomplished.
Ethan is proactive, tending to initiate events rather than respond to them. Even before Jim Phelps betrayed him, Ethan tended to act independently; that trait became his dominant one after his time as a fugitive. He is capable of planning and undertaking very intricate schemes, particularly covert intrusions.
He prefers misdirection to confrontation, as is expected of a covert agent, and will do his best not to endanger innocent bystanders.
Ethan is extremely observant, with an almost-photographic memory, and his ability to make profound deductions with limited clues is very impressive. He is also very good at hiding his reaction to critical information; for example, during one mission he realized one of his hired hands was also one of the people who assassinated his former team, but he did not show any visible reaction that would have given away this revelation.
Ethan enjoys engaging in playful banter in conversation and often wins people over quickly by virtue of his charm.
He is also incredibly intelligent, and almost recklessly daring in his missions. He is highly cunning and extremely astute and calculating, especially when it comes to knowing his enemies. He is highly idealistic and devises philosophical traps during debates.
Finally, Hunt's personality is subdued in the first movie, but becomes more extravagant and extroverted during the next two.
The character of Ethan Hunt evolves throughout the series. In the first movie, Hunt is a master of disguises, stealth, espionage tactics and according to his profile he has been taught the Brazilian martial arts of Capoeira. He shows limited fighting ability, kicking a CIA employee while stealing the NOC list but later he is knocked out in a confrontation by the older but more experienced Jim Phelps. As the series progresses, however, Hunt abandons many of his stealth tactics in favor of force: he uses various kicks, holds, and flips during attacks on terrorist personnel during the next two movies. In Mission Impossible II we see him using techniques inspired by Capoeira, which fits with his profile from the first movie. In the third installment, while still using some Capoeira, he also utilizes techniques from the Keysi fighting method, and in a training scene with Lynsey Ferris (portrayed by actress Keri Russel), we see him teaching her the Filipino martial arts of Eskrima. He displays several extremely complex ninjutsu moves in the fourth movie, including a selection of Capoeira and taekwondo moves. During his prison escape, he mainly utilises Kenpo Karate and judo moves, and resorts to combined Capoeira, ninjutsu, taekwondo and Karate moves and strategies when battling Kurt Hendricks. He also returns his mastery of stealth and surprise whilst battling the nuclear extremist. His weapon of choice remains the Beretta 92FS 9mm semi-automatic handgun, which he uses in all three films.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- Mission: Impossible (First appearance)
- Mission: Impossible II
- Mission: Impossible III
- Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
- Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation