War for the Planet of the Apes was one of the (extremely depressing) highlights of the movie summer, and it wrapped up a trilogy of Apes prequels about the rise of Caesar, the great ape leader, in moving, thrilling fashion. But it didn’t wrap up the story of one of its key human characters, Malcolm, played by Jason Clarke, who became one of Caesar’s main allies in the middle film, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Caesar and Malcolm went their separate ways at the end of Dawn and War makes no mention of him.

Now a new deleted scene from the film fills in the blanks. It’s only available for now over at Collider, but the gist: Woody Harrelson’s Colonel has captured Caesar and reveals that he knew of the chimp before they met, thanks to a man he once met. “He said you were remarkable,” the Colonel explains. “More than just an animal; you were a great leader. I thought he was crazy.” According to the Colonel, Malcolm pleaded with him to find Caesar and make peace; instead, the Colonel shot Malcolm and set off on the series of choices that lead into his conflict with the apes in War.

It’s a sad and powerful scene, though it’s also kind of a coincidence that the main human from the last movie would hook up with the main human from this movie, but not at any point when we might actually see their altercation. It’s interesting to hear what the filmmakers had in mind, but maybe more realistic to not know what happened to this guy after he left Caesar’s side. And it’s even more interesting just to watch Andy Serkis’ unrendered face as he performs Caesar in this scene. You see stills of actors in these motion-capture suits and so often they look absolutely ridiculous. But there’s nothing silly about Serkis’ performance here. It is intense.

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