|“||We all have our secrets. Don't we, Ethan?||„|
|~ Brandt to Hunt in Ghost Protocol.|
William Brandt is one of the main protagonists in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. Brandt is an IMF agent, who was forced to work with fellow IMF agent Ethan Hunt after the Secretary of the IMF is killed. Brandt had known of Hunt before their mission and had been assigned a mission to protect Hunt and his wife, Julia Meade.
During his mission one day, Brandt followed Hunt for a run, leaving two agents to guard her. He returned to find the agents unconscious and Julia gone. Three days later, what was left of her apparent body was found.
Brandt aided Ethan to succeed in his mission to retrieve nuclear launch codes from Kurt Hendricks and accepted his next mission from Ethan after it was revealed to him that Julia's death had been faked by Ethan to protect her.
He is portrayed by Jeremy Renner who also portrayed the superhero Hawkeye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Brandt was assigned to guard Ethan and Julia Hunt from a 6-man Serbian hit squad in Croatia. He felt the job would be simple due to them knowing of the coming force, but felt he should warn Ethan and Julia nonetheless. However, he considered that orders are orders and kept quiet about the coming danger. One day, Ethan went for a run and Brandt followed, leaving two agents with Julia.
When Brandt returned, the two agents were unconscious and Julia was missing. Days later, Julia's body was reportedly found, causing Brandt to retire from his position as a Field Agent and become an Analyst.
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Preventing Nuclear War
Brandt traveled with the Secretary of the IMF to retrieve Ethan from Russia after his mission to infiltrate the Kremlin was aborted and the building bombed by a man code-named Cobalt. During their extraction, the Secretary assigned Ethan a mission to retrieve the stolen nuclear launch codes from Kurt Hendricks, who Ethan realized was Cobalt from Brandt's information. Brandt was confused by the Secretary's reasoning, but was motioned to keep quiet. After Ethan accepted the mission and set to begin on an IMF train car, the vehicle they were riding in was attacked and the driver and Secretary were killed. The vehicle plunged from a bridge into the water bellow. Ethan led Brandt out of the submerged vehicle and the two escaped after Ethan lit a flare and attached it to the Secretary's body as a diversion. Brandt and Ethan then walked to the rendezvous point where they were told Jane Carter and Benji Dunn would be waiting.
After searching for and finally spotting the train, the two were forced to run for it as the train was already in motion. After a code was entered and Ethan used the retinal scanner to confirm his identity as an IMF agent, the two boarded the train. After regrouping with Benji and Jane, the group formulated a plan to stop Hendricks and Wistrom, by intercepting an exchange between the terrorists and an assassin named Sabine Moreau at the Burj Khalifa.
When the mission goes awry, Brandt reveals his past as an agent to Benji and Jane. After learning that Hendricks requires a defunct Soviet military satellite in order to launch the missile, Brandt and the team head to India to stop the launch. Equipped with a special magnetic vest, Brandt enters the server room to deactivate the satellite. However, Hendricks ultimately succeeds in launching the missile. As the group head to the broadcasting station to acquire the launch-control device, Hunt pursues Hendricks whilst Brandt and the others attempt to bring the broadcasting station back online.
However, Wistrom turns the power off, leading Brandt to search for the generator. In an ensuing struggle with Wistrom, Brandt finds himself unable to overpower the terrorist and reach for the switch. Benji intervenes in the nick of time, shooting Wistrom and allowing Brandt to reactivate the generator, leading Hunt to prevent the missile from detonating.
Mission from Ethan
Eight weeks after stopping Hendricks' plan, Ethan asked the team of Benji, Jane and Brandt to take new missions. Benji and Jane quickly agreed, but Brandt attempted to leave without accepting. Ethan stopped him and asked him how he knew Julia was actually dead. He asked Brandt if he had seen the body and then revealed to him that he faked Julia's death to protect her. With closure and relief, Brandt accepted the next mission, leaving Ethan to watch his wife from afar.
After the Secretary's death, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Alan Hunley, and Brandt go to the Senate oversight committee to discuss on the IMF and as a whole, ending with the CIA and IMF merging. When Hunt is captured by operatives working for a proposed British project-turned powerful terrorist organization; The Syndicate and later branded a traitor, Brandt warns him to stay undercover and avoid Hunley, but later goes to Hunt's oldest partner Luther Stickell to help him find Hunt and Dunn through a woman Ethan knows and trusts, which is revealed to be Ilsa Faust, a British undercover agent in the field. With his help, the team, alongside Ilsa, successfully stop former MI6 agent Solomon Lane, including the arrest of Chief Attlee for his attempted cover up of The Syndicate's creation and existence, and the IMF is reinstated once again, with Hunley becoming the new Secretary of the IMF.
William Brandt changed after Julia's "death" during his mission, he blamed himself and left the field to become an analyst. Having hid this from Hunt, he feels guilty for the incident, and has trouble meeting with the former again. During the events of Ghost Protocol, he shows himself to amazed at Hunt's luck and skills, notably when he used a flare to trick the Russian security forces into believing it was him, asking Hunt on how they would shoot at the flare, with Hunt replying he knew they were not thinking. Additionally, he was pessimistic and cynical on their mission, doubting that Hunt had enough time to get to the manual control room for controlling the security cameras and elevators. Brandt was a "by the book" agent, preferring to stick to the mission and his orders. When Agent Carter had killed Moreau, he argued with her on following mission procedure. However, Brandt is shown to have a dry sense of humor, cracking jokes and sarcastic comments in and out of missions.
Out of all Ethan Hunt's teammates from the years, Brandt showed himself to have a low self-esteem and wasn't confident on both the mission and himself. After the mission was done, he believed that Hunt wanted nothing to do with him, expressing this by rejecting the new mission from Hunt, however, accepted this after learning that Julia's death was planned and she is alive. After this, he became happier and loyal to Hunt, especially in the time of Rogue Nation when telling the former to stay undercover when Alan Hunley was looking for him. Brandt is also good with standing up for his team and speaking to senates, notably shown in the committee when talking on the IMF's actions.
After working with them, Brandt is more comfortable with his teammates, notably Agents Dunn and Carter, and especially Ethan Hunt.
Skills and Abilities
Brandt is skilled in hand-to-hand combat and martial arts, able to take down Moreau's henchman and stand against Marius Wistrom in a fight. His skills also appear to be equal to Ethan Hunt, being able to disarm him twice.