'War For The Planet Of The Apes' Cut A Reference To Jason Clarke's Malcolm

Over the three new Planet of the Apes movies, the apes having continued to work their way to the center stage. While Rise of the Planet of the Apes had its humans mostly at the forefront with Caesar, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes made most of the humans more side characters, and War for the Planet of the Apes does the same. These humans have hardly ever gotten in the way of Caesar's story, though. They support it and are integral to his journey, especially Dawn's Malcolm (Jason Clarke), a human who recognized a great mind and soul in Caesar.

Below, director Matt Reeves discusses the bleak reference to Malcolm that was cut from his sequel.

War for the Planet of the Apes takes place a few years after the events of Dawn. Unlike in Dawn, which featured a video of Will (James Franco) and confirmed his apparent death, there's no reference to the humans Caesar previously crossed paths with, like Malcolm, Ellie (Keri Russell), and Alexander (Kodi Smit-McPhee).

Reeves told the Happy Sad Confused podcast about a scene cut from the script which revealed what happened to Malcolm:

Yeah, they were, actually, specifically Jason's character was, and it was a disturbing discovery. The Colonel (Woody Harrelson) had revealed some information about a man who'd come to him when he first got to the city and impressed upon him how important it was to find Caesar and to tell him that he needed to create peace with this man. That this Ape was not just an Ape but was a great leader, and he thought this guy was crazy. And now he (Colonel), in the scene with Caesar, says that he now sees what he meant, and Caesar says, "Well, what happened to him?" And The Colonel said, "I killed him." Caesar is perplexed and asks why, and The Colonel says, "His ideas were very dangerous because the ideas were like a virus and they could spread to others, and right now this is a fight for humanity." So that's what happened.

Malcolm's fate sounds suitably bleak for the Planet of the Apes franchise. Happy endings are hardly a staple for this series. The sequence explaining Malcolm's death wasn't cut because it was too bleak, but because the exchange between Caesar and The Colonel didn't feel organic and vital enough.

War for the Planet of the Apes is now in theaters.