War for the Planet of the Apes writer and director Matt Reeves reveals what happened to Jason Clarke's Malcolm following the events of 2014's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. With the film set to hit theaters this Friday, War has already emerged as one of the most critically-acclaimed films of the year, with early reviews calling it yet another successful installment in 20th Century Fox's ambitious Planet of the Apes prequel series. And with the film set to bring an end to the story of Andy Serkis' Ape leader, Caesar, the film's positive early responses only act as further confirmation for fans that this will likely be remembered as one of cinema's greatest film trilogies.
But with War for the Planet of the Apes picking up a couple years after the events of Dawn, many fans have been quick to wonder and ask what may have happened in that gap period between the two films. Specifically, fans have wondered if War may or may not ever touch on what happened to the group of human characters from Dawn, led by Jason Clarke's Malcolm and Keri Russell's Ellie, who formed close relationships with Caesar by the time the film had come to its open-ended conclusion.
Now, while War for the Planet of the Apes doesn't contain any answers to those questions, Matt Reeves has revealed that there was at one point, a draft of the script that explained explicitly what happened to Malcolm in the years leading up to War. While appearing on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Reeves revealed that Malcolm's journey to try and help Caesar eventually led to him crossing paths with Woody Harrelson's The Colonel:
"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."
In the end, Reeves said that he wound up cutting this moment between The Colonel and Caesar for story and context reasons that would have made it inorganic to include in their confrontation. However, Reeves' comments here do, at the very least, give fans the answers to one of their most burning questions about the highly-anticipated sequel, even if it might be an even darker answer than they might have been expecting.
Malcolm's fate, though, no matter how dark it is, fits in with the tone and world of this Apes trilogy, which has been filled with darkness and unfortunate deaths from the very beginning. Considering that War for the Planet of the Apes has been deemed by many to be the darkest installment yet too, it doesn't come as much of a surprise that Malcolm's attempts to try and ease the conflict between the Apes and humanity may have resulted in his inevitable murder. And in case it wasn't already clear how villainous Harrelson's Colonel is going to be in the film, it certainly should be now.
Source: Happy Sad Confused
- War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) release date: Jul 14, 2017