The 10 Best Characters To Appear In Only One Movie

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It is whispered that Mission: Impossible 7 (2023) and Mission: Impossible 8 (2024) could be the last mission of IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise). Hunt’s departure leaves room for someone to take his place and for former agents to return. Some of the franchise’s best characters have only appeared in one film and deserve another round of action. Shooting conflicts or unfinished storylines removed them from the team before their time.

Related: Ethan Hunt’s 15 Coolest Mission Impossible Quotes

These characters provided insight into the world of IMF espionage. With director Christopher McQuarrie’s plans to bring back fan favorites, characters who only appeared in one movie due to impossible circumstances can return for a second mission with new direction and better storylines.

ten The White Widow (Mission Impossible: Fallout)


Alanna Mitsopolis (Vanessa Kirby) is a philanthropic arms dealer and daughter of IM: I villain Max (Vanessa Redgrave). She follows in her mother’s footsteps bouncing between allegiances with the CIA, IMF and global villainous syndicate, The Apostles.

Related: 5 Reasons Fans Should Be Excited About Mission Impossible 7 (& 5 Reasons To Worry)

Kirby (Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw) is returning to MI’s upcoming sequel, so his one-off status won’t last forever. The franchise usually sees defectors disappear, so her survival is a pleasant surprise and opens up the possibility for other characters to return to the franchise like her mother and her associates.

9 Lindsay Farris (Mission: Impossible: III)


Lindsay Farris (Keri Russell) is a newly retired IMF mentee of Ethan Hunt. Before she had a chance to put her knowledge to use, powerful arms dealer Owen Davian’s (Phillip Seymour-Hoffman) high-tech brain bomb exploded in her head.

Russell became one of many inducing-death agents, catapulting Ethan into action. An opportunity to see his debut with Hunt as a mentor could provide insight into potential storylines for mission impossible 7. Lindsay Farris allowed Hunt to grow as an agent into a seasoned role. It’s high time Hunt officially got a promotion and took on a mentorship role.


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8 IMF Secretary (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol)


The MI franchise never mentioned his name. Known only as the “Secretary of the IMF” (Tom Wilkinson), his SUV is swept away through Russian side streets after giving Ethan Hunt an iconic mission briefing.

Wilkinson is no stranger to roles in spy thrillers and deserved more screen time. On the bright side, it introduced returning characters William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) and Alan Hundley (Alec Baldwin). Since the Secretary was killed in action, he’ll never get a chance to return outside of another mention or quick reference. The departure of so many franchise secretaries could leave that role available for Ethan Hunt’s retirement from the field.


7 Theodore Brassel (Mission: Impossible III)


IMF directors come and go with each entry. Theodore Brassel (Laurence Fishburne) orders IMF agents to arrest arms dealer Owen Davian, only to be framed by his two-faced colleague, a role usually reserved for Ethan Hunt.

Legendary actor Fishburne portrays the cliched disgruntled boss against Ethan Hunt. Before Alan Hundley, no IMF administrative boss has ever appeared in more than one film. With Eugene Kittridge (Henry Czerny) set to return for M: I 7this could mean that all the old bosses who survived may have a chance to assign one last mission to Ethan Hunt and his team.


6 Billy Baird (Mission: Impossible 2)


Australian pilot Billy Baird (John Polson) flew in and out of the franchise like the wind. The kooky Billy is a fast-talking comic relief and one of the best getaway drivers in action movies.

IM: 2 was one of John Polson’s last films before he became a successful director and founder of Tropfest, one of the biggest short film festivals. It would be fitting for Billy to take one last flight in front of the camera for the franchise’s latest installments. Aside from recurring character Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), Billy is one of the first IMF agents not killed in early missions to remain loyal to Ethan Hunt throughout a mission. If Hunt is backed into a corner in the more recent movies, it would be interesting to see him ask favors from some of his day one pals.


5 Jane Carter (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol)


It’s not just Ethan Hunt who seeks revenge for a betrayed agent. When Jane Carter’s (Paula Patton) lover, Agent Hanaway (Josh Halloway), is killed by deadly assassin Sabine Moreau, she devotes her loyalty and thug status to exact revenge.

Patton proves a worthy equal to Tom Cruise as Agent Carter is one of the most powerful female characters in the franchise. Before joining Ethan’s team, Agent Carter was his own team leader. Yet after Ethan offers Jane another assignment for the sequel, she doesn’t reappear because Patton is unavailable for filming. Jane Carter has the perfect resume to put her in the best position to replace Hunt after her retirement. As franchises continue to embrace diversity, Carter returning to the fore as team leader is an easy choice.


4 Declan Gormley (Mission: Impossible III)


Declan Gormley (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is an Irish IMF field operative who joins Ethan Hunt in arresting Owen Davian. Alongside his one-time colleague Zhen Lei, Declan remains loyal to Hunt and the IMF until the end, but does not return to the scene once their mission is complete.

Related: 10 Smartest Characters In The Mission Impossible Franchise

Meyers as Declan appears to be the replacement for IM: IIBilly Baird as the spy team’s overzealous pilot. At this point, it looks like there won’t be any need for additional pilots in future films since Ethan flies his planes by hanging onto the wings in midair. Declan likely won’t return to any future installments due to his limited role in IM: III. However, he makes a great candidate for a new villain based on his established history with Ethan Hunt.




3 Zhen Lei (Mission: Impossible 3)


Zhen Lei (Maggie Q) is a formidable IMF agent who can surpass even Ethan Hunt in fancy disguises and pseudo-accents. After helping Ethan put an end to Owen Davian’s evil plans and blow up a Lamborghini, she got off the MI grid.

Maggie Q is an actress and model with more than enough experience to return to the franchise. According to Yahoo! News, like Paula Patton, her conflicted schedule prevented Zhen Lei from a triumphant return to a IM: I continued. After Maggie Q’s popularity increased following her appearance in IM: III, it would make sense to see Zhen Lei return to support the next generation of agents as a veteran. His return would make sense if his former teammate Declan Gormley was the new big bad.


2 Team Phelps (Mission: Impossible)


In the first minutes, the public attends a game of thrones level massacre of the spy team of Jim Phelps (Jon Voight). At first, every IMF agent is killed, leaving Ethan Hunt as the sole survivor. Thus begins his decades-long quest to clear his name as an agent.

Jack Harmon (Emilio Esteves), Sarah Davies (Kristin Scott Thomas), Hannah Williams (Ingeborga Dapkunaite), and Claire Phelps (Emmanuelle Béart) prove it’s hard to find a long-term replacement for Ethan’s spy teams Hunter. Each met his death at the hands of one of Impossible missionthe smartest villains, Agent Phelps. Amazingly, the sequels don’t even reference these characters despite their long history with Ethan Hunt. A prequel story following Ethan Hunt’s debut at the IMF could put those agents back into action.


1 Nyah Nordoff-Hall (Mission: Impossible II)


Nyah (Thandiwe Newton) is a master thief and ex-girlfriend of disavowed agent Sean Ambrose (Dougray Scott). The IMF sends Ethan Hunt to recruit her when his ex-villain plots to release a deadly virus, Chimera, to profit from selling the cure.

Newton would have liked to spend time with his family in his explanation of why Nyah did not return to Mission: Impossible 3. As the first living character not to return in another MI:I film, she set the standard for other characters to follow. Her return makes sense as she attempted to sacrifice herself to save the world and proved herself worthy of joining the IMF as a full agent. Now that Ethan has officially moved on from his relationship with ex-wife Julia Meade (Michelle Monaghan), Nyah could serve as another possible love interest.

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