As stated by his actor Alfred Molina, Horvath is a sophisticated, well-mannered and cultured man, always impeccably collected and polite, even when about to kill someone. But this refined facade hardly veils his cruelty. He is cold-hearted, cares only about himself and disposes off his followers and allies without second thoughts.
Though he does have (or had) strong feelings of love for Veronica, and retains a grudging respect for Balthazar. Also, as long as he gets what he wants, he holds his parts of bargains and leaves his foes alive (when he has no interest in killing them).
Role in the film
He was, along with Balthazar Blake and Veronica, a disciple of Merlin and a force of good more than a thousand years ago. But their mutual love for Veronica split the colleagues apart and Horvath has instead become an ally of the wicked Morgana, who murdered Merlin and sought to conquer the world with an army of undead sorcerers. He and Balthazar have battled through the ages, finally bringing their conflict to modern-day New York City. In the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Horvath's mission is world domination. Balthazar is maintaining the Merlinean standard of magic as a power that’s used for the benefit of mankind. Horvath is the leader of the Morganians, who take the very different view that magic should be used to subjugate humans.
It was until Balthazar defeated and sealed him away in the Grimlock, a near unbreakable object that sealed Morgana away thousands of years ago. Then 10 year old Dave accidentally freed Maxim and after a struggle with Balthazar, the two were stuck in a pot for ten years. After the ten years were up, Maxim went after Dave, sending a pack of wolves after the boy. Yet Balthazar, who had escaped as well, rescued Dave and began sorcerer training. Freeing Morganians, he vowed to destroy Dave, the Prime Merlinean, so that Morgana would be free and send her wrath upon the world. After absorbing energy from other Morganians, he freed Morgana and attempted to kill Balthazar. But it was Dave who defeated him and Balthazar who blasted him away.
Horvath managed to escape the battle between Morgana and the Merlinean sorcerers, vanishing about the time Morgana's magical circle was disrupted. His current whereabouts are not known, though the film's stinger shows an unidentified hand retrieving his hat from the Cabana Arcana.
- In the film's prologue where Horvath was introduced through his Encantus depiction, he is shown holding vials of potions, suggesting some skills in potion brewing and by extension, alchemy. However, since he never demonstrates these skills on-screen, it is unknown just how proficient he is at them.
- Like other main characters in the film, Horvath's character has undergone some changes in the film's scripts. In the early script of the film, he is the rogue predecessor of Dave (a fellow Prime Merlinean) who betrayed his mentor Aurelius to the Morganians and nearly killed every single active Merlinean, leaving Dave, Balthazar and Veronica as the sole survivors. Additionally, he was also Balthazar's former mentor before the latter's defection to the Merlineans and posed as the head of a modern insurance company called "Horvath Global Insurance Group" in his civilian life.
- Though he is intended to be British, "Maxim" is a Russian given name and "Horvath" (Horváth) is a Hungarian surname.