|Played by:||Vanessa Redgrave|
|First appearance:||Mission: Impossible|
|Last appearance:||Mission: Impossible (1998 video game)|
|First mentioned:||Mission: Impossible – Fallout|
|Last mentioned:||Mission: Impossible – Fallout|
|“||Anonymity... is like a warm blanket.||”|
–Max, Mission: Impossible
Max Mitsopolis, or simply Max, was a major antagonist in the Mission: Impossible film series, being the overarching antagonist in the 1996 spy film Mission: Impossible and a posthumous antagonist in the 2018 action/thriller film Mission: Impossible – Fallout. She also appeared in the first film's accompanying video game. She was the mother of Alanna Mitsopolis, also known as White Widow and Zola Mitsopolis, the former colonel of the British Army, and a mysterious arms dealer who has corrupted many Impossible Mission Force operatives as part of its plan to recover a list of undercover agents in Central Europe.
Little is known about Mrs. Mitsopolis' early life. An English national, she probably had a relationship with a man with whom she gave birth to two children: Alanna and Zola. In the mid-1990s, she called herself Max and became a world-class arms smuggler.
Deal with Phelps
Seeking to get a list of infiltrators in Central Europe and to be sold it to other criminal and terrorist organizations for profit, she bribes Impossible Mission Force agents and markets a deal with Jim Phelps (who she knew only under the name of Job): the list in exchange for an undisclosed sum of money. Phelps accepts and then organizes the killings of members of his new team during a mission to Prague to retrieve the list (which, unbeknownst to Phelps, was a fake used by the CIA to determine the identity of the mole within the IMF).
Deal with Ethan
While Phelps simulates his death during the mission, one of his agents, Ethan Hunt, survives and learns from Eugene Kittridge, the secretary of the agency, the existence of Max and that of Job, although he ignores that Phelps is behind this name. Using the pseudonym to contact Max by email, Ethan meets her and reveals that half of the list she received was false and included a tracking device. Max doubts the spy's warning first, but when the disc is tested, she realizes he's telling the truth. Also, after escaping from Kittridge and his agents, the arms dealer makes a deal with Ethan: stealing the genuine list at the CIA headquarters in exchange for Job's money and identity. Max also provides him with one hundred and fifty thousand dollars which he probably uses to finance his new team of corrupt agents consisting of hacker Luther Stickell and helicopter pilot Franz Krieger, who secretly works for Phelps and helped him assassinate his agents in Prague.
After retrieving the list with the help of his new team, Ethan finds Phelps and realizes he is the mastermind behind the murders of his colleagues.
A meeting is later organized in the TGV for Ethan to give the list to Max and recovers the money. Sent to the baggage car to take the money, Ethan is confronted with Phelps but cleverly reveals to Kittridge, also present, that he survived.
For his part, Luther prevents Max from downloading the list. After Ethan kills Krieger and Phelps, Max is found by Kittridge and the CIA, who are about to arrest her. She manages, however, to negotiate an agreement to remain free.
Death and Heritage
Between 1996 and 2017, Max dies of an unknown cause. Alanna and Zola then inherit her arms trafficking.
In 2017, Ethan Hunt meets Max's two children on a mission to Paris and helps Alanna capture terrorist Solomon Lane in exchange for a plutonium sphere that his organization wanted to use to destroy the world.
This game explores an continuity separate from any established canon. This time, Ethan is accused of being a killer named Max. The spy later meets her in in London Waterloo station but she steals the list of infiltrators and escapes in a train after leaving his men to execute him. With the help of a IMF operative named Candice Parker and two CIA agents, Ethan infiltrates the train and kills Max in order to take the list.
Max was a playful, intelligent, witty and affectionate woman, a character she passed on to her daughter. She was also cautious since she was always accompanied by her bodyguards, including Matthias. Finally, Max was known to love paradoxes.
Max was a cunning and manipulative woman who managed to bribe Jim Phelps. She was also good at business as evidenced by her occupation as a weapons dealer.
Behind the Scenes
The part of Max was originally written for a man before Tom Cruise, who plays Ethan Hunt, offers director Brian De Palma to hire Vanessa Redgrave to play the character. It works perfectly since Max is only a pseudonym.
- Because she corrupted Jim Phelps and manipulated Ethan Hunt and Phelps himself, Max is considered by some fans to be the true main antagonist of the film Mission: Impossible. However, this title really comes back to Phelps because he leads the plot and represents a more direct and important threat to Ethan and his team. In addition, he is the one who oversaw the team's murder in Prague, an act that pushed Ethan to embark on a revenge mission.
- Max is the only major antagonist of the film Mission: Impossible to survive (although she died later) and perhaps the only major antagonist in the series to escape justice at the end of her film.
- Max seems to have a penchant for gold as evidenced by the fact that she wears several accessories in this material.