Despite his seemingly cold exterior and undying love for his fellow apes, Planet of the Apes' Caesar had a soft spot for humans due to his relationship with scientist Will Rodman (James Franco). Will took in our furry protagonist when he was a baby and raised him as his own son, forging a father-son bond that persisted even through the apes' revolution. Sadly, the scientist went away at the end of Rise of the Planet of the Apes and didn't appear for the franchise's next installment.
Fortunately for Caesar, his loneliness didn't last long. A new human, Malcolm (#JasonClarke) stepped up to help him make the world a better and safer place for himself and his misunderstood pack. While things were a bit rocky between them at first, they slowly formed a strong bond, and by the end of the second movie, the pair parted ways as strong allies.
Their relationship had a lot of potential for another storyline, but to the dismay of fans, the character was nowhere to be seen in War for The Planet of the Apes. The film differed a great deal from its predecessor story-wise, introducing brand-new players and themes, but Malcolm's absence was still notable, and it left longtime viewers scratching their heads wondering what had happened to him.
War for the Planet of the Apes recently came out in home video, and Collider released an exclusive deleted scene that answers what happened to Malcolm. Fair warning, it's not pretty.
Malcolm Didn't Get A Happy-Ever-After
The cut sequence shows #WoodyHarrelson's Colonel speaking to Caesar after the ape leader gets captured. The cold-hearted Colonel tells our hero that he encountered Malcom when he first got to the city, but their meeting didn't go well:
"You know, when I first came to the city, a man said he had to see me to... he knew you. You had worked together. He said you were remarkable, and more than just an animal. You were a great leader. I thought he was crazy, and he pleaded with me to find you and make peace with you [...] I shot him."
So Malcolm ended up being one more death in the Colonel's long list of victims. There wasn't any information on Malcom's wife, Ellie (#KeriRussell) and his son, Alexander (#KodiSmitMcPhee). But seeing how the family traveled together, it's easy to assume they were shot and killed as well.
Was It The Right Move To Cut This Scene?
Deleted scenes usually end up in the cutting room floor to make a movie flow better, but Caesar's sequence with the Colonel had a lot of potential. In fact, it could have greatly benefited War for the Planet of the Apes. This new take on the classic sci-fi franchise presents a realistic view of what would happen if apes got into a war with humans.
Something that the two previous films have explored wonderfully is the reality of war: casualties and pain are to be expected. In a conflict as brutal as the one between apes and humankind, not everyone gets a happy ending, no matter how good or deserving they might have been.
It's sad to hear that Malcolm met such a tragic end, but that bit of information would have added to the realistic approach this saga is taking with its characters and storylines. Don't get me wrong, I loved War for the Planet of the Apes, and there's little I'd like to see changed from it, but this was one scene that should have made the final cut.
Why it was cut is a mystery, especially because of its short span, but at least we finally know what happened to Malcolm.
War for the Planet of the Apes is currently available for purchase on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD.
What do you think about what happened to Malcom? Would you have liked to see him in War for The Planet of the Apes, or were you satisfied with his story coming to an end? Let me know in the comments!