Dr. William "Will" Rodman
The son of Charles Rodman, the adoptive human father of Caesar, and the boyfriend of Caroline Aranha. Through his connection to Caesar, Will unknowingly became the adoptive human grandfather of Caesar's two young sons, Blue Eyes and his infant brother. He was the scientist who was responsible for the creation of ALZ-112, the so-called cure for Alzheimer's Disease. Like Robert Franklin, Will was one of the rare employees at Gen-Sys Laboratories who actually did care for animal test subjects, such as Bright Eyes, and did not simply see them as experiments.
- Bus Crash: According to Word of God, Will and Caroline die (likely from the Simian Flu) in the interlude between Rise and Dawn.
- The Caretaker: For his father, who has Alzheimer's.
- Decoy Protagonist: His name comes first in the credits, but Caesar is the real protagonist.
- Deuteragonist: Despite being the Decoy Protagonist, he is still the secondary focus of the story after Caesar.
- Expy: Of Armando of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. Both characters raised their own Caesar incarnation from birth, keeping them on leashes while in public, and died before getting a chance to see their Caesars starting their respective ape communities. Will's surname could also be seen as a partial anagram to Armando's name.
- For Science!: Partly his reason for developing the drugs, although his primary motivation is his father.
- Good Parents: Despite the circumstances, Will is a genuinely loving and devoted father to Caesar, who never stops loving him in return. Even after Will's death and his conflict with humanity in Dawn, it's obvious that much of Caesar's compassion and strength comes from his childhood with the Rodmans.
- Hope Spot: He's bombarded with these (such as his father getting better) and they always get yanked away from him.
- Hot Scientist: Caroline seems to think so.
- Innocently Insensitive: Despite everything he does to educate Caesar and promote his development, Will never seems to notice the little ways in which he still treats Caesar like a pet, rather than a person. This is what ultimately leads to Caesar's I Choose to Stay moment in the San Bruno Primate Shelter.
- Papa Wolf: Toward Caesar. He attacks Dodge when he realizes Caesar is being abused.
- Parental Substitute: He and his father took care of Caesar after the latter's mother died.
- Parents as People: Even though Will dearly loves Caesar, he makes quite a few mistakes in his upbringing and by the end of Rise, it's pretty clear that the species-gap will always prevent them from fully understanding each other.
- Poor Communication Kills: Will drops the ball many times. He doesn't fess up about taking the cure home and its effect on his father until his father is starting to relapse. He doesn't fess up and point out that one of the test apes' intelligence is off the charts. Despite knowing the intelligence level of Caesar, and knowing full well there are children out in the street Will doesn't have "the talk" with him.
- Promotion to Parent: After taking Caesar home, he becomes his father in every respect.
- Reed Richards Is Useless: Will's drug gives his father full reversal of Alzheimer's for eight years (followed by a rapid regression and progression). A potential pharmaceutical gold mine he dumps and starts over from scratch because it wasn't permanent. Granted, his father's death messed with his judgment, but still.
- Shout-Out Theme Naming: Will's surname, Rodman, is a reference to Rodman "Rod" Serling, writer of the first Planet of the Apes screenplay.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His work (although enabled by Jacobs and spread by others) ultimately dooms most of humanity.
- What the Hell, Hero?: He gets one from Caroline when she discovers Caesar's true nature, although it falls a little flat since she's trying to say that curing Alzheimer's is wrong.
A clumsy but good-natured chimpanzee handler at the Gen-Sys Laboratories, where Dr. Will Rodman was researching a cure to Alzheimer's Disease. After being ordered to exterminate all chimpanzees exposed to a potentially dangerous drug, Robert discovered a new-born baby chimpanzee who he could not bring himself to euthanize. Unable to rescue the chimpanzee himself, due to his brother-in-law working in security, Robert asked Will to raise the chimpanzee, who was later named Caesar.
- Big Fun: He's overweight and very attached to the apes who the experiments are carried out on.
- Butt-Monkey: He's the nicest guy in the movie, but he suffers for it.
- Chew Toy: He suffers greatly throughout the film for no reason, as he's one of the nicest people there.
- Dying Alone: He dies off-screen and is found in his apartment.
- Friend to All Living Things: Despite working in an animal testing lab, he has real affection for the apes and all the tests appear to be humane.
- The Heart: He is the kindest person in Gen-Sys.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Helped in developing the drug that became the cause of his death.
- The Lab Rat: He is in charge of looking after the chimpanzees used to test the drugs.
- Nice Guy: He genuinely cares about the apes in his care.
- Patient Zero: He is infected with ALZ-113 and accidentally infects Hunsiker when trying to get in touch with Will.
- Shout-Out Theme Naming: His surname is a reference to Franklin J. Schaffner, director of the original Planet of the Apes film.
- Token Good Teammate: He is The Heart of Gen-Sys. Jacobs is greedy and selfish, and even Will is selfish to an extent but Franklin is considerate of everyone.
- Too Dumb to Live: When testing an aerosolized retroviral drug, it's bad form to get your mask knocked off by the test subject, have no tests or checkups done to ensure you're okay, not try and contact the scientist who invented the drug except by going to his house when he's not there, not mentioning anything might be wrong when you start sneezing blood, and not trying to get in touch with anyone else at the research company you work for as your condition deteriorates.
- Two First Names: Franklin is traditionally used as a given name.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: After being infected by ALZ-113, he inadvertently ends up spreading the infection to most everyone he comes into contact with, including Hunsiker.
The head of Polytechnic Solutions' Gen-Sys Laboratories, and superior to Dr. Will Rodman, the creator of the Simian Flu.
- Big Bad: Jacobs is the closest thing the film has to a Big Bad. He's Will's boss, pushes the mass-production of ALZ-113 despite warnings over the potential disaster it could cause, and helps lead the failed attempt by police to neutralize Caesar and the other apes.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: He's the CEO of GenSys and is only interested in money. He becomes aware of Will's ethical breach, and tries to blackmail him into continuing the tests using that information.
- Dirty Coward: He shows his true colors during the climax of the film.
- Disney Villain Death: He is trapped in a wrecked helicopter, which Koba kicks off the edge of the Golden Gate Bridge.
- Evil Brit: He has a British accent and is certainly an antagonist.
- Famous Last Words: "GRAB ME, STUPID MONKEY!"
- Greater-Scope Villain: He was responsible for mankind's downfall, and for the animosity between humans and apes.
- Karmic Death: Jacobs is killed by an ape infected with virus he so carelessly pushed to be engineered.
- Kick the Dog: Forcing Franklin to put down the ape test subjects.
- Oh, Crap!: His reaction when he is precariously hanging for his life and Koba shows up above him.
- Only in It for the Money: He can barely go a few sentences without mentioning how important money is to him.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: He is constantly dressed in a business suit.
- Shout-Out Theme Naming: His surname is a reference to Arthur P. Jacobs, producer of the original Planet of the Apes series.
- The Unfettered: He's willing to do whatever it takes to make money and please the shareholders.
- Villains Want Mercy: He pleads with Caesar to save him. Since Jacobs had just killed Buck, Caesar refuses to do so, and leaves the choice up to Koba, who predictably declines to give Jacobs any mercy either.
San Bruno Primate Shelter
The owner of the primate sanctuary. Initially a helpful and friendly enough guy, in reality he's a shrewd and immoral opportunist.
- Beard of Evil: He has a Van Dyke-style beard in addition to being deeply corrupt.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: At first, he seems like an easy-going fellow. He seems to know a great deal about how apes manage in captivity and takes the time to reassure Will, talking about how he'll thrive within the sanctuary. In reality, he's a greedy and corrupt man who doesn't give a damn about the apes.
- Cool Shades: He can usually be seen wearing nifty pair of shades and rarely takes them off.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: It seems he truly does love his son Dodge, despite their difficult relationship. When the footage of Dodge's death is played back, Landon can only watch in silent shock and clear grief.
- Only in It for the Money: Landon doesn't care about the apes in his shelter one iota. He only wants to make money and is apathetic to their needs at best.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Unlike his son, John isn't a sadist or a bully but rather an amoral opportunist. He isn't motivated by malice, just money.
- Shout-Out Theme Naming: His full name is a reference to one of the astronauts in the original Planet of the Apes film.
- The Stoic: Very little fazes him. He only ever loses his temper when Dodge is irritating him.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: It's not revealed what happened to him by the end of the film.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: This is his attitude, and it certainly isn't a good attitude for someone who supposedly works in a sanctuary for primates."I can't say I approve. They're not people, you know."
- Also makes him something of a Foil to Caroline, who admits that while she loves chimpanzees, she's afraid of them, and it's right to be afraid since they are very powerful animals. Landon knows full well how animal the apes are, but has none of Caroline's compassion for or understanding of them.
The son of John Landon, owner of the San Bruno Primate Shelter where Caesar was incarcerated following his attack on Hunsiker. He worked as a guard at the facility under his father, but he administered horrible treatment and cruelty to the primates there, bordering on torture for no apparent reason.
- The Bully: Dodge's only real joy seems to come from the sadistic pleasure he gains by tormenting anyone who's unable to defend themselves, like poor stupid Rodney or the apes under his supposed care.
- Enemy to All Living Things: He's needlessly cruel to the apes for the sake of being cruel to them. Every ape in the sanctuary has learned to despise him.
- Evil Is Petty: Dodge reacts to the apes as if they're human beings who are laughing at him, as opposed to animals who are just reacting. Dodge is petty and stupid enough to think he's being made fun of by apes.
- High-Voltage Death: Caesar blasts Dodge with a hose, causing the latter's taser to short circuit and electrocute him.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: He is killed by a combination of his taser and hose... two things he used to torture the apes.
- Jerkass: Dodge is a repulsive bully and sadist with low intelligence. He's needlessly cruel to the apes, especially Caesar.
- Karmic Death: Dodge is killed by attacking Caesar with an electric prod; when Caesar blasts him with the hose, Dodge is electrocuted. Both of those items were tools that Dodge used to torture the apes.
- Large Ham: In sharp contrast to his stoical father, Dodge tends to be very expressive and short-tempered.
- Non-Indicative Name: He wasn't able to (or didn't at all) dodge any of Caesar's attacks.
- Oh, Crap!: Is left shocked and speechless after Caesar drops a Big "NO!".
- Shout-Out Theme Naming: Dodge gets two of Charlton Heston's hammiest lines from the original.note
- In addition, his first and last names are references to two of the astronauts in the original Planet of the Apes film.
- Too Dumb to Live: It's not wise to pull a taser on a super-intelligent ape wielding a firehose. Not only that but there was twenty or more apes in the room and he planned to fight them all with his taser.
- Ungrateful Bastard: He should of been grateful for the fact that Caesar was merciful by locking him in a cage despite his abusive actions, but instead, he unlocks the cage and tries to fight and kill Caesar as well as the other primates.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: From what we see of his interactions with his father, it seems that their relationship is a contentious one. John accurately considers Dodge to be a moron, while Dodge shows his most vulnerable side by apologizing for irritating his father.
- You Can Talk?: He's shocked when Caesar speaks.
A worker at the San Bruno Primate Facility, run by John Landon. Landon's son, Dodge, bullied both Rodney and the ape inmates. Rodney remained neutral, believing that Dodge was cruel to the apes, but was mostly too afraid - either of Dodge or his father's position - to question orders. Adding to this, Dodge would rudely ignore Rodney's advice on how to treat them.
- Ambiguous Disorder: He never seems entirely put together: he's nervous, stuttering, awkward, slack-jawed, and submissive.
- Butt-Monkey: Poor Rodney is mostly pushed around by Dodge, his much younger 'boss'.
- Extreme Doormat: To Dodge, who walks all over him.
- Merciful Minion: Caesar recognizes that he's not a sadist or a bully, just a weak-willed flunky who bore no ill will toward the apes.
- Minion with an F in Evil: He's not evil like Dodge and is only simply doing his job.
- Oh, Crap!: Cornered by angry apes, and the door doesn't open... Also when Caesar speaks. Luckily for him, the apes just lock him up cause he at least bothered to take care of them.
- Older Sidekick: To Dodge.
- Only One Name: His last name isn't revealed.
- Only Sane Man: Between his bullying partner and the angry apes, he's one of the only reasonable people in the facility.
- Pet the Dog: The apes spare him from the same fate as Dodge, if mainly because he hasn't been a sadistic bully to the apes.
- Token Good Teammate: Of the Anti-Villain variety.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: He didn't appear in the sequel, thus it is ambiguous if he's in a refugee camp somewhere or suffered a Bus Crash due to the outbreak.
- You Can Talk?: He's as shocked as anyone when Caesar speaks.
- You Will Be Spared: The apes spare his life during their breakout, at Caesar's behest.
Other Pre-Simian Flu Humans
The father of Will Rodman, and the adoptive human grandfather of Caesar.
- Character Death: Charles dies from Alzheimer's after the cure fails.
- Cool Old Guy: A music teacher who quotes Shakespeare and doesn't have a bad bone in his body.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: He dies in his son's arms.
- Doting Grandparent: To Caesar, who sees him as just as important as his father, Will.
- Face Death with Dignity: After his Alzheimer's comes back with a vengeance, he refuses another treatment from Will and spends his last hours with his son, ending his suffering.
- "Flowers for Algernon" Syndrome: The ALZ-112 cures his Alzheimer's for eight years, but then it resurfaces with a vengeance.
- Friend to All Living Things: He's the one who names Caesar and encourages Will to look after him.
- Good Parents: Charles is a lovely fellow and Will has a great relationship with him. This transfers down to Caesar, who dearly loves Charles and is devastated by his death.
- Guinea Pig Family: Will tested the ALZ-112 on him in the hopes that it would cure his Alzheimer's.
- Nice Guy: He's a loving father, grandfather, and genuinely good man.
- Parental Substitute: He and his son took care of Caesar after the latter's mother died.
- Scatterbrained Senior: The driving force behind his son's push to make a cure for Alzheimer's is the fact that he has it.
- Team Dad: To the main characters: Will, Caroline, and Caesar.
A veterinarian working with primates at the San Francisco Zoo infirmary. She was also the girlfriend of Will Rodman, and the adoptive human mother of Caesar.
- Brainy Brunette: An intelligent veterinarian.
- Bus Crash: According to Word of God, Will and Caroline die (likely from the Simian Flu) in the interlude between Rise and Dawn.
- Friend to All Living Things: She genuinely cares for the animals she treats.
- Kindly Vet: She first meets Will while giving Caesar stitches after he is beaten by Hunsiker.
- Hospital Hottie: She is a very attractive veterinarian, as is noticed by Will.
- Hot Scientist: It's Freida Pinto, for God's sake. Will certainly thinks she's hot.
- Nice Girl: Sweet, thoughtful, and sensitive.
- Parental Substitute: Acts as a motherly figure towards Caesar.
- We Need a Distraction: Distracts the cops to let Will sneak past the barricade and find Caesar.
- What the Hell, Hero?: She gives one to Will when she discovers Caesar's true nature, although it falls a little flat since she's trying to say that curing Alzheimer's is wrong.
A pilot for Global Airlines and a neighbor of Charles Rodman and Will Rodman. He had a violent temper, resented the Rodmans for no apparent reason, and clashed with them when three-year-old Caesar escaped and frightened his children when the curious chimpanzee wanted to ride a bicycle found in Hunsiker's garage.
- Artificial Limbs: After being Fingored by Caesar, his lost finger was replaced by a metal-looking one.
- Asshole Victim: He's a colossal jerk and winds up infected with ALZ-113, transmitting it around the world.
- Bullying the Disabled: Hunsiker's harassment of the dementia-stricken Charles and the ill Robert would qualify as this.
- Butt-Monkey: He only turns up when something bad is about to happen. To him. Which he most deserved due to his reactions to his misfortunes.
- Fingore: Caesar bites his finger off when he rescues Charles from Hunsiker's assault.
- Greed: He was infected with the Simian Flu which in its first days gives him a bad headache and bleeding nose (that would develop into hemorrhagic fever) but he wants to get paid anyways and proceeded to go to the airport to do another shift as a pilot. Humanity gets screwed.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He has a razor-sharp temper, which usually kicks in just in time to screw him over.
- Hate Sink: Before the inclusion of Dodge and Jacobs' more pivotal role later in the film, Hunsiker's role basically stands in as the first example of Humans Are the Real Monsters that Caesar learns and most of his appearances was just to show his Irrational Hatred towards the film's protagonists even though their actions are not directly against him on purpose. Despite having some understandable reasons behind his hostility, he is still a despicable character as bad as Dodge and Jacobs. It is also implied that Hunsiker could be an ableist, hating the disabled like Charles with a passion without any pity towards them.
- Hot-Blooded: He is very temperamental and not afraid to get physical. This backfires constantly.
- Irrational Hatred: Apparently of his neighbors the Rodmans (even if one of them is a senile old man) and any friends of theirs, his animosity towards anything related to his resented neighbors backfires on him big time when catching Will's friend Franklin red-handed for seemingly trespassing, only to get infected with ALZ-113.
- Jerkass: While a lot of his behavior is somewhat reasonable if you consider the circumstances from an impartial viewpoint, it's still bad form to blow your lid at a clearly senile old man. The best thing to do was to speak to his carer and/or family member rather than borderline assault someone who clearly didn't know what was going on. However, his angry reaction is so suspiciously extreme that it feels more out of Irrational Hatred of his neighbors than just what Charles did.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Hunsiker initially gains audience sympathy when he finds a chimpanzee in his home, near his children, and has the nerve to fend off what he obviously believed is a dangerous wild animal. Also, he assaulted a dementia-stricken elderly man, but is arguably understandable given the circumstances over the damage of his car.
- No Sympathy: After the clearly ill Franklin sneezes blood on him, he tells him to leave due to his Irrational Hatred of the Rodmans and anything to do with them being that strong, unbeknown to him, this ignorance to such a serious condition chains off the slow undoing of the entire human species.
- Papa Wolf: He has kids, and is somewhat justified in his anger at Caesar since he's just protecting them as best as he can. There was no way to know that Caesar wasn't dangerous. But in the end his love for them doesn't matter cause he presumably infected them with ALZ-113.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: If his Irrational Hatred of the dementia-stricken Charles and the clearly ill Franklin and his Lack of Empathy towards their disabilities and conditions is any indication, Hunsiker appeared to be a passionally vehement ableist.
- The Resenter: He deeply resents the Rodmans and any friends of theirs for no apparent reason.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He winds up being the one to infecting the world with ALZ-113. Through his actions in provoking Caesar, in confronting Franklin and ignoring his condition, and in spreading the virus through air transport, Hunsiker played a central role in the fall of mankind.
- Too Dumb to Live: He gets infected by the ALZ-113 infection and ignores its symptoms. Seriously, what was he thinking?
- "Oh, my nose is bleeding. And my head is killing me. But I can't miss work again, I already missed so many hours from my finger. I have to get paid!"
- Typhoid Mary: While he does display symptoms, he ignores them and winds up transmitting ALZ-113 around the world. He had no way of knowing what he was infected with.
- Very Punchable Man: He receives misfortunes in his appearances and turned out to be well-deserved due to his despicable behavior.
- Would Harm a Senior: He has no qualms of borderline assaulting a dementia-stricken old man.
- Oh, Crap!: How she reacts to seeing Franklin (Patient Zero of the Simian Flu) being deceased and having black blood pouring around his body and rotting away.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Her main purpose is to show us what the Simian Flu does to humans. She then reported her death to the authorities, which led to Gen-Sys finding out the Simian Flu could kill humans and trigger a worldwide pandemic.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: She was only a few feet away from Franklin, meaning she contracted the Simian Flu.
Post-Simian Flu Humans
A leader of a small group that formed a strong bond with Caesar and the other apes.
- Action Dad: Has a teenage son and is a badass.
- Admiring the Abomination: When Caesar demonstrates the ability to speak, his reaction is one of awe rather than fear, outright calling Caesar "more than just an ape."
- Bus Crash: Word of God states that the reason Malcolm doesn't return for War for the Planet of the Apes is because he's killed by Colonel McCullough. A deleted scene for that movie more or less confirms it with the Colonel telling Caesar that he shot Malcolm.
- Crusading Widower: His wife was killed during the outbreak.
- Deuteragonist: Much like Will before him, he is the main human character in Dawn, but Caesar is still The Hero of the film and in this film takes his rightful place as the top billed actor.
- Martial Pacifist: Violence is never a first choice for him.
- Nice Guy: He is very respectful of the Apes' culture, earning him their (sans Koba and his lackeys) respect in return.
- Not So Different: He's very much like Caesar.
- Number Two: He is Dreyfus' second-in-command in the Colony.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He takes time to listen to what his subordinates have to say.
- Poor Communication Kills: In the lead-up to Dawn's climax, he grabs the Idiot Ball with both hands by not even trying to reason with Dreyfus about his plan to detonate the tower. Instead he picks up a rifle and aims it at the other three members of the party, and the best explanation he can offer doesn't even offer a clue about why they might want Caesar to succeed at deposing Koba.
- Put on a Bus: At Caesar's advice, he flees San Francisco with Ellie and Alexander before the military arrives, and he does not return in War.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: He disobeys Dreyfus and even holds a gun on him.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Will Rodman. Caesar even says that Will was "a good man like you."
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Believes in the best of humans and apes.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Believes that the apes aren't the violent monsters Dreyfus fears they are. Unfortunately for him, one of the apes is, and that ape proves to be enough to derail any chance of peace.
The second wife of Malcolm and step-mother to Alexander. She is a member of a struggling group of human survivors who meets Caesar and his colony under difficult circumstances.
- Brainy Brunette: Along with Malcolm, she's the most level-headed and intelligent of the humans.
- The Chick: Of Malcolm's scouting party.
- Hospital Hottie: She's a nurse before the outbreak.
- Male Gaze: When she's doing surgery on Caesar, she takes her coat/jacket off and is wearing a very tight and low-cut tanktop. You're welcome.
- The Medic: Her main role being a former nurse.
- Outliving One's Offspring: She has a daughter that died during the outbreak.
- Replacement Scrappy: Invoked in-universe. It is implied that Alex is initially distant to her because he sees her as "someone trying to replace his late mother".
- Second Love: She is Malcolm's second wife.
- Single Tear: When telling Alexander about her deceased daughter.
- True Blue Femininity: Wears a blue tanktop.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: We do not know whether she was killed by the Colonel or succumbed to the mutated virus.
Malcolm's teenage son who is coping with the death of his mother and the arrival of his father's new wife and his new step-mother, Ellie. Upon meeting the apes, he befriends Maurice, the kind Orangutan who becomes fond of him.
- Badass Bookworm: He is seen reading from time-to-time.
- Defrosting Ice King: He is initially distant, but eventually warms up.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: He is very, very pale.
- Emo Teen: His screentime usually involves him angry or sulking. As Malcolm points out, we can hardly blame him; he watched the planet die around him for most of his life.
- Foil: To Blue Eyes. Both are the Emo Teen sons of the two factions' main characters. But while Blue Eyes is initially distant to Caesar, Alex has always been close to Malcolm.
- Kid Hero: The apocalyptic Earth forces him to be one.
- Missing Mom: She died during the outbreak.
- Not So Different: He is practically a human Blue Eyes.
- Odd Friendship: He starts one with Maurice by showing him his artbook and a graphic novel.
- The Quiet One: Alexander doesn't have much to say.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: We do not know whether he was killed by the Colonel or succumbed to the mutated virus.
San Francisco Colony
A former San Francisco police chief who became Mayor shortly after the beginning of the Simian Flu outbreak which subsequently claimed the lives of his wife and children. He retained his position of authority in the rapidly depopulated city for a decade, and took a militant stance against the Evolved Apes.
- Anti-Villain: While he becomes an antagonist, he is not an evil person. He's merely misguided, ill-informed and desperate to save his people.
- Badass Longcoat: He's usually seen wearing one of these.
- Badass Mustache: Sports one.
- Benevolent Boss: He is a well-meaning leader to the San Francisco refugees.
- BFG: At one point Dreyfus wields a rocket launcher.
- Cool Old Guy: A badass Father to His Men.
- Crusading Widower: His entire family was killed during the outbreak.
- A Father to His Men: Dreyfus is seen reassuring his troops and is very upset when harm comes to them.
- Famous Last Words: "I'm saving the human race."
- Heroic Sacrifice: He dies believing that he did it for the human race. Subverted with the implication that what he did made both sides' situations much worse. Though at least his suicide resulted in the death of Koba.
- The Leader: Of the Colony.
- Not So Different: To Koba in his final scene, as even the director points out in the commentary. Whereas prior to this he was a noble character, once he'd reached his breaking point he is driven only by hatred of the opposing species, justifying his actions by saying he's saving his kind even when it only makes things worse for them.
- Outliving One's Offspring: His two kids died during the outbreak.
- Poor Communication Kills: The victim of this; from Dreyfus' viewpoint, the humans are fighting in self-defense. Just when the colony receives power and starts communication, Koba leads the apes to start slaughtering and imprisoning the humans. So when Malcolm, at gunpoint, starts making peace talk, it's understandable why Dreyfus refused to give him the benefit of the doubt.
- Precision F-Strike: Gives one to Malcolm during the film's climax.Dreyfus: Are you out of your fucking mind?
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He takes time to listen to what his subordinates has to say.
- Rousing Speech: He makes a couple of them. First, when he gets everyone behind his plan to reclaim the dam's power. He delivers another one when the apes are on their way to attack the Colony.
- Taking You with Me: Attempted this at the sequel's climax.
- Suddenly SHOUTING!: "They're ANIMALS! THEY ATTACKED US!"
- Wasteland Elder: Dreyfus is The Leader of the Colony, and one of the older members.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: While he gave Malcolm's plan a chance, before that he was planning to wipe out the apes in order to get to the generator at the dam and planned to go ahead with it if he didn't hear back from him in time. And the film makes it very clear that the refugees will not survive for long without the power from the generator. After Koba's attack, he tries to blow up the entire tower the apes are occupying to kill as many of them as possible, believing that after the attack, they cannot be reasoned with and for the sake of humanity, they must die.
A member of the Colony and is a good friend to Malcolm and his family.
- Angry Black Man: Only towards Carver, who certainly deserves all the scolding.
- Badass Beard: He sports one.
- Bald of Awesome: He is bald and a badass.
- Black Best Friend: To Malcolm and his family.
- Character Death Gets caught in the explosion triggered by Dreyfus at the end of Dawn while attempting to communicate with military forces on the radio.
- Intergenerational Friendship: He seems to be a decade older than Malcolm and Ellie, and certainly several decades older to Alexander.
- Martial Pacifist: Much like Malcolm, violence is never a first choice for him.
- Not So Different: He is practically a human Maurice: strong, loyal and intelligent.
- Only Sane Man: One of the most level headed members of the group.
- Older Sidekick: To Malcolm.
A redneck member of Malcolm's group.
- Asian Rudeness: Downplayed; his actor is indeed of Chinese descent next to his Puerto Rican descent, but he appears to be mostly Caucasian and behaves like a white trash redneck with a Fantastic Racism of the apes.
- Asshole Victim: He's beaten to death by Koba. Nobody mourns, except those who viewed his death as an Alas, Poor Scrappy moment for him after he shows a genuine moment of happiness upon witnessing their mission to restore the lights in the city be completed.
- Bald of Evil: Shaved bald, and although 'evil' is debatable, he's certainly enough of an asshole to be an antagonist.
- Blame Game: Chooses blaming the apes for the Simian Flu rather than his own humankind who's really responsible.
- Dirty Coward: Shoots Ash in the beginning of the film out of blind terror. His continued fear and distrust of the apes leads him to sneak a shotgun to the dam, which only serves to increase the friction between the apes and Malcolm's group and make him a believable scapegoat for Koba's False Flag Operation.
- Fantastic Racism: He absolutely hates the apes, blaming them for the Simian Flu.
- Hate Sink: It's likely he is designated as the most despicable character in the first sequel; almost all the tropes that describe him are negative.
- HeelFace Door-Slam: He gets killed just after expressing a genuine moment of happiness.
- Hot-Blooded: He's in a permanently foul mood, and it only takes the slightest nudge to send him into violence.
- Informed Ability: Malcolm's reason for bringing Carver along is that he worked on the dam, but we never see him offer any real help in getting the dam fixed, in fact they manage just fine without him, thus narrowing his role in the film to just being the perpetual fuck-up.
- Insane Troll Logic: Blames the apes for the Simian Flu despite it being created by the humans.
- Jerkass: He's a selfish, aggressive, ignorant and miserable redneck. He insults Malcolm and Ellie by bringing up their dead loved ones in an accusatory tone and his unchecked temper ultimately helps Koba to take power by framing him.
- Lampshade Hanging: "Okay, so I'm the asshole."
- The Load: See Informed Ability above for more information.
- Lower-Class Lout: His past blue-collar worker job as a dam worker, his Perma-Stubble and unkempt appearance and deplorable Jerkass characterization could social-class-wise qualify him as a redneck.
- The Millstone: His actions only increases friction between the apes and the humans.
- Not So Different: He is practically a human Koba. Both are distrustful, angry and violent. Makes it ironic since the latter killed him.
- Perma-Stubble: Like many male survivors. This fits him well with his despicable redneck attitude and appearance.
- Pet the Dog: After behaving like a belligerent, troublemaking white trash yokel throughout most of his screentime, Carver finally shows a silver of good lining when he expresses genuine happiness at seeing the power restored to the city and privately congratulates Malcolm for completing their mission by calling him a "son of a bitch" as he takes a smoke; unfortunately, this takes place just before he is beaten to death by Koba.
- Revenge Before Reason: Carver straight-up admits that he's angry at the apes because he has nobody else to blame for the virus. He also ignorantly dismisses the Simian Flu's true origins — a virus created by humans and not spread by apes — as "hippy-dippy bullshit".
- The Scapegoat: See Small Role, Big Impact below.
- Small Role, Big Impact: In comparison to the other human characters, Carver is relatively minor (and he's killed halfway through Dawn), but he serves as an example to Caesar's apes of the possible threat humanity poses. Ultimately, he's used as a scapegoat by Koba to incite war between ape and human.
- Token Evil Teammate: Of Malcolm's scouting party. Koba even learns of this and sets him up (posthumously) to take the fall for his assassination of Caesar.
Colonel Wesley McCullough
An iron-fisted soldier obsessed with wiping out Caesar and his tribe to defend his people from destruction.
- Alas, Poor Villain: By the time Caesar finally reaches him, he's been infected with the Simian Flu, making him unable to talk, and is so pathetic the Ape actually pities him before he blows his own brains out.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: His goal involves the genocide of an entire people, and the ones captured by his forces live in a below-Spartan quality labor camp.
- Anti-Climax Boss: In-Universe. Caesar is ready to go on a Suicide Mission to finally end the Colonel once and for all, only to find he's succumbed to the same mutated virus that his son did. In the Colonel's view, this makes him a danger to humanity and he's a drunken, despairing mess when Caesar finds him.
- Anti-Villain: He wants to save humanity by killing the apes, which, when taking into account what for example Koba did in previous films, is quite an understandable goal. His sympathetic death contributes to this, having become what he always feared.
- Arch-Enemy: To Caesar, in War for the Planet of the Apes.McCullough: Have you come to save your apes?
Caesar: I came for you.
- Ax-Crazy: He is absolutely batshit insane.
- Bald of Evil: He keeps his head shaven clean, and regardless of how well-intentioned he might be, he's a ruthless and violent man.
- Big Bad: He's the main antagonist of War for the Planet of the Apes.
- Big Bad Wannabe: He's Caesar's nemesis in War for the Planet of the Apes but his group is only a splinter faction of the army. His group's training and weapons make them a definite threat to Caesar's group, but once his forces fight the far larger remnant of the military, they're swiftly defeated. Even if he didn't contract the virus and could still lead before they attacked, his forces still would've been curbstomped.
- Clash of Evolutionary Levels: He espouses this viewpoint to Caesar.McCullough: No matter what you say, eventually you'd replace us. That's the law of nature.
- Also why he kills the members of his own army infected with the mutated Simian Flu strain, as he considers them to have lost the very things that make them human, and the communicability of the disease makes them a threat.
- Colonel Badass: An evil version since he's a very dangerous soldier.
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Both he and Koba are hateful and prejudiced toward the opposing species, and their fight against them leads them to do horrible things to their own kind in the process. However, while Koba's hatred manifests in him being psychotically overemotional and acting erratically, the Colonel's hatred manifests in him shutting down all emotions and acting with cold, calculating precision.
- Crusading Widower: His wife, Maggie, died in the original Simian Flu outbreak.
- Dark Messiah: He considers his fight a "holy war," and refers to Caesar's Alpha Male position as a "demonic throne." He's also a genocidal monster who's A Nazi by Any Other Name.
- Driven to Suicide: After losing his own voice, he tearfully shoots himself in the head.
- Drowning My Sorrows: He holds himself up in his quarters and drinks excessively, once he realizes he's contracted the mutated Simian Flu.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: His son, John, who died before the events of the movie. It turns out his son was a soldier serving McCullough, and when he was infected with a mutated strain of the Simian Flu that stole his voice, McCullough killed him to stop the spread of the virus and "save humanity." Despite McCullough claiming it was necessary, he still clearly loves his son and feels some guilt off his death, displayed by holding onto a photo of him as a boy.
- Everybody Calls Him "Barkeep": His full name (J. Wesley McCullough) only appears in the script. His surname is only mentioned once, though it is prominently displayed on the nametag of his uniform. Even in the credits, he is only ever referred to as "the Colonel". Might verge on Red Baron territory given that Red mentions that to his soldiers the Colonel is "more than human".
- Expy: He's a loose one of Kolp from Battle for the Planet of the Apes. The studio also cited Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now as a direct inspiration.
- Like Doctor Hasslein from Escape from the Planet of the Apes, McCullough is presented with telltale signs of what he sees as the final, definitive end of his species. Obsessed with preventing humanity's downfall by any means necessary, he becomes a genocidal madman who murders Caesar's family in a case of Misplaced Retribution. Instead of preventing the bad future he feared (an impossible goal to begin with), his actions turn out to expedite it. The comic adaptations of Escape and War paint their deaths in a similar light, with both men realizing that all their work was for nothing in their final moments.
- His bald head, his cult of personality he fosters with his soldiers, and the fact that his hide-out is an abandoned military base also brings to mind Inquisitor Mendez from Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
- Fantastic Racism: Towards apes.
- Hero Killer: He's the most dangerous antagonist Caesar and his group has faced and has literally killed Cornelia and Blue Eyes, and possibly many other apes. According to Word of God, he also killed Malcolm, the human protagonist of Dawn.
- Insane Troll Logic: He claims that speech is what makes a human, and therefore someone better than an ape. The fact that his own people lose their speech but dont necessarily have any real loss of intellect, on top of the fact that his primary targets are Talking Animals (and thereby disproving his entire motive), never seems to occur to him.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: When the virus mutates resulting in the loss of people's voices, the Colonel fears this will lead to people being turned into work-cattle for the apes. He goes completely mad, killing his son, cutting off the heads of his superiors and holing up in the side of a mountain. He also forces the apes to build a wall to protect himself from a military force he can't possibly hope to outmatch.
- Karmic Transformation: After killing those rendered speechless by the mutated virus, he finds himself infected in the climax.
- Kick the Dog: Admits to Caesar that he didn't intend to kill Blue Eyes (having mistook the latter for the former), but then says he's glad he did. Made all the more cruel given McCullough himself was a father with a son.
- Knight Templar: At least he admits it:
- Laser-Guided Karma: He kills anyone who contracts the mutated Simian Flu, whether they be his soldiers or his own son, then burns their possessions. All of his evil actions are done to curb the spread of the flu to protect humanity. Then he ends up contracting the flu himself when he finds the infected Nova's doll, and sinks into a pitiable wretch afterwards. Caesar only came into contact with Nova because her father was a soldier in McCullough's army and deserted rather than kill his own child as McCullough did.
- Leave Behind a Pistol: By the time Caesar is able to exact his vengeance on McCullough, he has already succumbed to the mutated Simian Flu, and drunk from drowning his sorrows. Caesar prepares to execute him, but looking into the eyes of his opponent, he sees not the monster he anticipated heroically slaying, but a broken man who has lost everything he ever cared about. He stays his hand, but leaves the pistol within McCullough's reach. As Caesar walks away, McCullough uses the pistol to commit suicide.
- Morality Chain : His son John, in the prequel novel, Revelations.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: McCullough begins killing any of his soldiers who show symptoms of the mutated virus. When the body count rises a little too high, his superiors put all of their remaining forces together to stop him, which also results in an avalanche that kills what remains of the entire military. Though he did not live to see it, McCullough's attempts to preserve humanity ultimately resulted in humanity using all the power it had left to destroy itself, without even needing the virus.
- Nothing Personal: He claims this about killing Caesar's wife and older son, identifying them as casualties of war. Granted, he also doesn't make any effort to actually feel bad about it.
- Not So Different: If Dreyfus was similar to Koba in his final scene, the Colonel is similar to Koba throughout his entire run, utterly ruthless and so obsessed with killing the species he hates that he ends up harming his own species as well.
- Not Worth Killing: Caesar ultimately finds him too pathetic to kill and spares his life instead.
- Offing the Offspring: When his son lost his voice due to the mutation of the original virus, the Colonel decided to stop the spread right there and then... by shooting him in the head.
- Rogue Agent: As it turns out, he's not leading the remaining United States Army, he's leading what amounts to a splinter group. He and his superiors had, uh, 'creative differences' which led to him going rogue with his own men.
- Sanity Slippage: It's implied that shooting his own son to try and contain the mutated Simian Flu drastically accelerated his plunge into murderous psychopathy.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: He's been desperately trying to stave off the Simian Flu by hunting down evolved apes and killing humans infected by the mutated virus that would devolve them and rob their humanities. Eventually, his effort is proven to be futile as McCullough himself ends up infected by the very virus he's been trying to fight against, as well as failing to protect his men or at least his own definition of "humanity" toward the end.
- Silent Antagonist: In his final hours due to the final stages of the Simian Flu finally kicking in.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: He very rarely raises his voice, preferring to let his actions speak for themselves.
- The Speechless: In his final hours, he, as a sufferer of the Simian Flu, loses his ability to speak.
- This Means Warpaint: He goes into combat himself after putting on some intimidating black camouflage warpaint.
- Title Drop: McCullough drops the film title (a little clumsily) in his speech to his troops."This is our last stand. And if we lose... it will be a Planet of Apes."
- Tragic Keepsake: He keeps a photo of his lost child. That's his son, who grew up to be a soldier in his army, but lost his ability to speak as a result of the dormant Simian Flu virus mutating. McCullough killed him to try and stop the mutated virus spreading further, as he does with all soldiers who exhibit symptoms.
- The Unfettered: He tells Caesar that he had a "moment of clarity" with regards to the mutated virus, and afterwards was prepared to sacrifice anything to save the human race. He proved this by killing his son, whom he loved, after he was infected by the mutated virus, and now demands that all of his soldiers be willing to make the same kind of sacrifice as he did, if necessary.
- Villainous Breakdown: The loss of his voice results in him having an off-screen breakdown. When Caesar sneaks into his office, the doors are barricaded, he's rid himself of weaponry, he'd been through a few bottles of booze and has his son's photograph laid out. It's clear he's been wrestling with guilt and his own fragmented sanity, and when Caesar locates him, he's a pathetic shirtless drunk.
- You Will Be Spared: Inverted, where Caesar doesn't give in to his darker instincts and spares an infected Colonel, who instead takes his own life.
A human soldier and the right-hand man of Colonel McCullough.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Seems insignificant at first, only to end up being the one who inflicts the fatal wound that ends up killing Caesar.
- Cold Sniper: Uses a high-tech crossbow to silently dispatch his targets.
- The Dragon: Eventually becomes the second-in-command in the Alpha-Omega military.
- The Farmer and the Viper: Caesar allows Preacher and his fellow soldiers to live so they can give the Colonel a message to end the war. In repayment for his mercy, Preacher ultimately kills Caesar in the end. Played with in that Preacher's not a transparently evil monster, he does have some reservations about his job, and the possibility of him undergoing a HeelFace Turn is implied, it's just that he decides to remain loyal to the Colonel and is killed because of it.
- HeelFace Door-Slam: He's visually shown to be internally-conflicted with his position as McCullough's right-hand-man throughout the movie and was even spared by Caesar himself, which would give him motivation to pull a HeelFace Turn, but in the end, he ultimately seals his fate by remaining loyal to Alpha-Omega and attempting to kill Caesar.
- Hero Killer: He inflicts the wound that ultimately kills Caesar.
- Karmic Death: After shooting Caesar, despite the ape having shown him mercy earlier, Preacher gets killed by Red before he can finish Caesar off.
- Mook Promotion: Is only a Mook Lieutenant at the start of the film, but when The Captain is killed in the opening battle, he moves up.
- No Body Left Behind: He's blown-up by a rocket launcher, courtesy of Red.
- Punch-Clock Villain: He doesn't seem like a psychotic fanatic, doesn't relish cruelty against the apes, and is implied to have moral hang-ups with his job. Unfortunately he never ends up undergoing a HeelFace Turn, mortally wounds Caesar and ends up dying at the hands of Red, who did decide to redeem himself in the end.
- Red Herring: It looks like he may perform a HeelFace Turn but doesn't, and it's actually Red who ends up performing one, killing Preacher in the process.
- Redemption Rejection: He was given several chances to have a change of heart, but choose to remain loyal to the Colonel up to his death. Also, in a deleted scene, Caesar offers Preacher to desert while he still can due to being different from the other soldiers, only for Preacher to vehemently refuse the offer and fanatically defend the Colonel as "a great man."
- Small Role, Big Impact: Despite being The Dragon with little screentime, he is directly responsible for Caesar's death.
- Undying Loyalty: To the Colonel. A deleted scene has him converse with an imprisoned Caesar as to why he serves the Colonel, in that he personally owes the Colonel his life.
- Ungrateful Bastard: He's one of the soldiers Caesar spared as a symbolic olive branch. He also sold out Caesar's colony, and inadvertently kills Caesar, all things considered. Subverted in a deleted scene, when Preacher expresses how he owes Caesar one for sparing his life and tries to warn him not to incite the Colonel's wrath. Double-subverted in the next deleted scene when Caesar offers him to desert his post to escape the Colonel, only to have his Berserk Button pressed that prompts him to lose respect for Caesar, refusing the offer to defect and then defending the Colonel until the end of the film where he causes Caesar's death.
- Walking Spoiler: As the killer of Caesar, many of his tropes are naturally marked as spoilers.
An Alpha Omega soldier stationed at the border. He is incredibly volatile to both apes and humans, and participates the most in abusing the former.
- The Bully: As the apes' primary abuser in War, this is a natural description of him.
- Expy: Of Dodge Landon of Rise. Out of all the apes' captors, he is the most abusive and even directs his antagonistic tendencies towards his fellow humans.
- Jerkass: Without a doubt. He's even this towards his fellow humans.
An Alpha Omega soldier who is rendered mute by the Simian Flu, and is shot and left to die, before being found and put down by Caesar.
- Buried Alive: In the snow, to be more precise, after being shot and left for dead before being dug up by Caesar and revealed to still be alive, albeit slowly dying.
- Mercy Kill: Put down by Caesar due to already dying from his wounds.
- No Name Given: Never referred to by name, only shown in the credits and the promotional material.
- Sacrificial Lamb: His role, while very small, serves to show how extreme the Colonel is in containing the Simian Flu, even killing his own men if they are infected.
- The Voiceless: As a result of the Simian Flu.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Only gets one scene during which he is killed.
The Northern Army
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: They all have an avalanche dropped on them.
- Hollywood Tactics: They throw their entire collective of infantry, tanks, trucks, and helicopters directly at the Alpha Omega base all at the same time despite visible anti-air weapons and the base itself being nestled between mountains and having only one frontal entrance. Once their entire army comes to a dead stop within this confined space, the subsequent avalanche kills them all.
- The Faceless: Their entire bodies and faces are covered in snow gear, making them more reminiscent to faceless drones than humans.
- Fantastic Racism: According to the Colonel, the only thing they hate more than him are apes.
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": Their reaction to the incoming avalanche that ultimately kills them off.
- The Speechless: They do not speak, and the only vocalizations they make are unsettling roars of cheering when they successfully purge the entire Alpha Omega base of human life though at least 2 soldiers seem to try screaming "Yeah!". This may be an implication that they have all lost their ability to speak due to the virus, but still possess their higher brain functions, as evidenced by their coordinated tank, truck, and helicopter attack.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Shortly after what seems like an apparent victory for them, they're all killed by an avalanche.
Other Post-Simian Flu Humans
A mute orphan girl who is taken in by the apes.
- And Starring: Her actress is given an "Introducing" citation in her debut film.
- Cute Mute: An adorable child who can't speak due to The Virus.
- Family of Choice: She joins the apes in the "Apes Together Strong" gesture.
- Happily Adopted: She's adopted by the apes, who thoroughly accept her after witnessing the help she brought to Caesar. And Maurice is gentle to her from second one.
- Interspecies Adoption: Maurice adopts her into Caesar's group.
- Interspecies Friendship: With Maurice.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: She's the most innocent being in War, and she has blue eyes.
- Line-of-Sight Name: Maurice eventually gives the little girl the name "Nova" from a badge off a Chevy Nova that Bad Ape gives to her.
- Morality Pet: She has shades of this with Caesar, reminding him of all the good in humans.
- Mythology Gag: Outside-universe, she was named after the human female lead of the original Apes movie who was also a mute though this Nova is considerably smarter and knows sign language as while 1968 Nova didn't know any language at all. Her doll also counts as an Easter Egg too.
- Nice Girl: Feeds a starving Caesar deprived of food and water as a favor return for him helping her out from being thirsty.note
- Parental Abandonment: Her father was killed by Caesar in self-defense while nothing is known about her mother.
- Spanner in the Works: She gives a doll to Caesar when he's being imprisoned, which ends up taken away by McCullough and is implied to be the very thing that infects him with the mutated virus towards the end.
- The Speechless: As a result of the virus she carries, she's mute.
- Token Human: She is the only human in Caesar's group of apes, let alone the only human who befriends the apes.