Planet of the Apes Wiki

It was a virus was created by scientists in a lab. The chimps they were testing on didn't have a say in the matter.
Ellie to Carver[src]

Ellie was a former nurse of the U.S. Center for Disease Control who became the second wife of Malcolm and step-mother of Alexander. She was a member of a struggling group of human survivors who met Caesar and his colony under difficult circumstances. She is the human counterpart to Caesar's wife, Cornelia.


Early Life[]

Prior to Simian Flu Pandemic, Ellie was an employee of the U.S. Center for Disease Control. However, when the Simian Flu outbreak occurred, her daughter Sarah died from the disease. During this time, she studied the disease and discovered that humans who were not killed by the flu were genetically immune or they would have died long ago.

Meeting Malcolm[]

At some point, she met and married Malcolm, becoming the step-mother of his young son, Alexander, with whom she initially struggled to bond with due to the passing of Alex's birth mother Rita. She eventually joined Malcolm, Alex, and of a small group of humans to restore power to San Francisco and aid the surviving humans in the city.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes[]

Encounter with Apes[]

Ellie first appears after Carver called for her and their group after he shot a young chimpanzee named Ash. She becomes worried when her husband, Malcolm attempted to talk to the apes, telling them they don't mean any harm. She and the others were shocked when the apes talked and yelled at them to leave the forest, sending them running. Arriving at the compound, they meet up with Dreyfus and they speak in the car where she explains to Dreyfus about their encounter with the apes before he tells her that she was just seeing and hearing things when she and everyone else in the group thought they saw how organized the apes were, but she insists she saw what she heard. She also tells a concerned Dreyfus that they were immune to the Simian Flu when he asks about the virus.

Going into the compound, she sympathizes with Alexander who realized that he has dropped his bag in the forest containing his sketchbook. She soon bears witness to the arrival of the Ape Army and listens as Caesar forbade the humans from entering ape territory. She looks to Alexander when Caesar has Blue Eyes return his sketchbook. Along with her family, she witnesses Dreyfus tells their fellow survivors that he understands why they are scared and promised to find another way to power the city.

Accompanying Malcolm[]

Later, in the apartment, Ellie expresses worry for Malcolm when she hears him that he bringing Carver despite his previous actions only for Malcolm to state Carver was needed to work on the dam due to his former occupation. Malcolm hugs the worried Ellie and tells her he will return. They kiss and Ellie begs Malcolm to take her with him to talk to the apes as he could use her help just in case something goes wrong. Malcolm tells her he needs her to look after Alexander before the later arrives and Malcolm that he's going with him as well because he feels safer with then what he does in the city. Arriving in the forest, Malcolm instructs Ellie and Alexander that he's going to speak to Caesar alone and if he doesn't return in an hour, Carver will take them back to the city, but he reassured them he'll be back. After an hour of waiting, the group see the apes arrive to their location. This cause them panic as Carver tries to start the car but is unable to get it and reaches for a gun before Ellie and Alexander stop him when they see Malcolm (unharmed) walking towards them and tells they can stay.

Time in Ape Territory[]

The group sets camp out in the forest. Later that night, Ellie sits around the campfire with Alexander, Carver and other members of the group. After preparing dinner, she goes to give Malcolm his dinner and tells him that everyone is depending on him to do the right thing before he admits he is more worried about making everything safe for his son. Ellie comforts him before confessing that she is struggling to bond with Alexander while Malcolm tells her to keep trying and he'll come around. Not long after this, Ellie and Malcolm join the group around the fire where some of the express fear and paranoia over the apes most notably Carver. Ellie along with Malcolm argue with Carver who blames the Simian Flu on the apes. Ellie says the apes aren't to blame which prompts Carver to bring up the subject of his late wife and her late daughter who died during the outbreak, berating them for not hating the apes until the argument is ended.

A day later, Alexander tells her he didn't know about her having a daughter and asks what her name was. Ellie, seeing that he's only being curious and that this could be her one chance to bond with him says her name was Sarah. She accepts the teenager's sincere apology for her loss. While Malcolm and Carver are fixing the dam, Ellie and Alexander join them but are almost killed when an explosion causes the ground to shake. The apes proceed to help them.

Bonding with the Apes[]

While tending to Carver who is suspected to have a broken leg, Ellie becomes distracted when Caesar's curious few day old infant son, Cornelius suddenly appears at her shoulder. She giggles as he investigates her and Alexander. She attempts to hold on to him but he pulls free and investigates the others. However, the touching moment is spoiled when Cornelius investigated the toolbox and uncovered a concealed gun belonging to Carver, who tried to harm the infant until Blue Eyes intervened, only to be threatened as well. A shocked Ellie watched in horror as Caesar attacked Carver for threatening his sons before Malcolm stopped him from killing him. Angered, Caesar ordered the humans to leave Ape Territory.

As the group packed their materials, Ellie asks Malcolm what they should do now before he quickly goes to fix the situation with Caesar. She followed Malcolm to Caesar's home where they find the distraught Alpha looking over his dying wife, Cornelia. When Malcolm's attempts to plead with Caesar fail, Ellie tries and tells Caesar that she can help with antibiotics. Hesitant, but not knowing what else to do Caesar allows Ellie to give Cornelia medicine to help her get better which she proceeds to do. Seeing her efforts, Caesar allowed the humans to stay telling them one day and tells them the apes would help in working on the dam.

While helping out in the dam control room, Ellie watched in horror as Koba assaulted Alexander before Malcolm and Maurice step in. She watched as Koba berated Caesar due to his compassion towards the humans before he violently beaten by Caesar. Sometime later, she along with Malcolm are in their tent when they spot Alexander spending time Maurice by showing him how to read. Soon with the help of the apes, the work on the dam is completed and they go to a gas station in the forest to find its power restored. Caesar invited the humans to the Ape Village where the ape king personally showed Ellie the results of their actions as they see the power in the human colony restored. Ellie then watches as Caesar's wife Cornelia walk out of her home and is happy when Caesar and his sons embrace her.

Running from the Apes[]

This happy display was ruined, when a gunshot was heard and Caesar falls from his home to his presumed death. Tensions escalated when Blue Eyes discovers a gun and Carver's baseball cap while stating they are human items. Maurice tells Ellie and the others to run, which they do as the Ape Village goes up in flames and Koba took power. While running in the forest, Ellie tripped before Malcolm and Alexander help as they are forced to hide when the apes charged past them to the city.

Tending to Caesar[]

The next morning, Ellie along with Malcolm and Alexander traveled through the forest to find their car. While Malcolm goes ahead after spotting it, Ellie and Alexander find Caesar's body and look upon him in sadness before they see that he is still alive (albeit barely) causing Ellie to quickly call for Malcolm. The three soon get Caesar into the car and Ellie applies a towel to his wound telling him to put pressure on it to prevent anymore blood loss. Caesar weakly asks what became of his family as Ellie tells him she doesn't know before telling him not to speak too much. She sees Malcolm wondered where Carver got the gun and his reasons for causing the apes to attack until Caesar tells them "Ape did this".

The family take the wounded Caesar with them to the city where they find that the apes have attacked the colony and wonder where to go as Caesar pointed them to a place. Upon arriving, they placed Caesar on the couch and questioned his reason for bringing them there. Their question is answered when Alexander showed them a portrait of a young Caesar with a human man on the mantle, making them realize this is Caesar's childhood home and allowed them to have a better understanding for his compassion and respect towards them. Seeing that Caesar lost a lot of blood, Ellie remembered that she has supplies but they are back at the colony. As she worried over how to obtain it now that the apes have taken over, Malcolm volunteered to retrieve it as she states such an act is too dangerous before Malcolm stated that Caesar was the only one who can stop Koba's madness.

Operating on Caesar[]

Ellie continued to nurse Caesar's wound before Malcolm returned with the supplies and surprisingly Caesar's son Blue Eyes who headed to the couch to speaks with his injured father. Blue Eyes sees Caesar's wound and believing the humans are responsible snarls at them, scaring them until Caesar stated it was not them, but Koba who shot him. Ellie reluctantly ended the argument by telling Caesar they have to operate before proceeding to do so. After the surgery, Ellie joined Alexander on the porch as he asks about Caesar. She responded by telling him they'll have to wait and see as Caesar was very strong. They are joined by Malcolm who holds them and reassured them that everything would be alright.

Helping the Apes[]

Sometime after Caesar's recovery, Ellie is shown sleeping on the floor with her family before she is awoken by the sounds of apes. Ellie goes outside as the loyal followers of Caesar arrive and Malcolm tells her that he is going to help them get back in the city to end Koba's reign. Malcolm kisses Ellie before leaving with the apes. Ellie's fate after this is unknown but upon Caesar taking back his place as the Ape King he tells Malcolm to take his family and leave the city before the upcoming war between the apes and human reinforcements begin.

War for the Planet of the Apes: Revelations[]

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Ellie is not afraid to tell others what she thinks, she is a very kind and gentle woman. As a wife, she loves her husband very much often giving him advice when he struggles with his job as colony leader and when he tries to maintain peace between the humans and apes. Ellie also tries to bond with her new stepson Alexander often trying to get him to open up to her but never making progress. Nevertheless she is able to connect with him after the subject of her late daughter is brought up and she was able to connect with him because of his own loss.

Similar to Malcolm, Ellie harbors no hatred or ill will toward the apes knowing that the Simian Flu outbreak was caused due to humans creating that said virus and exposing it to the apes who did not have a choice to be subjected to the disease. Ellie's lack of hatred to the apes is what permitted her to bond with Caesar's infant son, tend to the ill Cornelia and tend to the injured Caesar.



  • Ellie is Cornelia's human counterpart and shares many of the ape queen's personality traits.
  • She had a daughter named Sarah who died because of the Simian Flu.
  • Ellie would have died long before the events of the Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes occur.


  • Keri mentioned at Comic Con, that her character will have some medical background. This could be a nod to Caesar's surrogate mother Caroline who was a vet. She also mentioned that her character was somewhat of a war journalist who was trying to hold on to her remaining loved ones.
  • Ahead of the films release, Keri Russel teased that Ellie will have to hug an ape as she mentioned that she had to hug somebody and then do the scene again without the person.
  • Keri mentioned that she had some intense scenes with Andy Serkis prompting interaction between her character and Caesar. Nick Thurston said on Facebook that Keri's character would have scenes with Blue Eyes prompting possible interaction between the two.
  • Keri Russel says that her favourite scene to film was the scene where Ellie plays with Cornelius. She went on to say, that she was really disappointed that when they were filming, there was no baby ape, not even a prototype to act with. She was then told to imagine that she was holding one while director Matt Reeves had to tell her how to interact with nothing.
  • In the Dawn prequel novel, Firestorm, there is a mention of a character named 'Ellie Song' who is a girl that Dreyfus' eldest son Edward likes but this Ellie and the Ellie seen in Dawn are not likely to be the same character as Dawn's Ellie would have been in her mid-late 20's during the events of the book even though she doesn't appear.



Planet of the Apes - 20th Century Reboot Series
Planet of the Apes (CE) Movies
Rise of the Planet of the Apes | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes | War for the Planet of the Apes | Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
Main Evolved Ape Characters
Caesar | Bright Eyes | Koba | Maurice | Rocket | Buck | Cornelia | Blue Eyes | Luca | Ash | Cornelius | Winter | Lake | Bad Ape | Red | Noa | Soona | Anaya | Raka | Koro | Dar | Proximus Caesar | Sylva | Lightning
Supporting Ape Characters
Alpha | Burke | Verdon | Tinker | Grey | Stone | Andy | Wolfie | Jeanpierre | Lucky | Koba's Mother | Sparrow | Pope | Fifer | Cora | Rex | Bon | Dallas | Milo | Herman | Spear | Ajax | Oak | Fox | Aghoo | Ursus | Percy | Beardface | Armando | Luna | Oda | Rust
Main Human Characters
Will Rodman | Charles Rodman | Caroline Aranha | Robert Franklin | Steven Jacobs | Dodge Landon | John Landon | Douglas Hunsiker | Malcolm | Ellie | Alexander | Dreyfus | Carver | Foster | Colonel McCullough | Nova | Mae | Trevathan
Supporting Human Characters
Rodney | John Hamil | Rita | Sarah | Maddy | John | Edward | Roger Mason | Werner | Kemp | Clancy Stoppard | Corbin | Daniel Nygun | David Flynn | Finney | Kuo | Malakai Youmans | Max (Firestorm) | McVeigh | Terry | Roger | Rod Wilson | Preacher | Boyle | Lang | Travis | Korina
Rodman Family | Caesar's Family | Malcolm's Family | Rocket's Family | Dreyfus' Family
Horse | Elk | Grizzly Bear | Eagle | Zebra
Items / Weapons
Simian Flu
Important Events / Battles
Ape Rebellion | Human-Ape War | Simian Flu Pandemic | Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge | Battle in San Francisco | Battle of Muir Woods Park | Attack on Ape Waterfall | Battle of the Border
Organizations / Colonies / Companies
San Francisco Ape Colony | Caesar's Council of Apes | Caesar's Ape Army | Gen-Sys Board | San Francisco's Human Colony | Dreyfus' Human Army | Malcolm's Group | Alpha-Omega | Donkeys | Florida Ape Colony | Rocky Mountains Ape Colony | Eagle Clan | Coastal Ape Colony | Order of Caesar | Satellite Human Colony
West African Jungle | San Francisco | San Francisco Zoo | Gen-Sys Laboratories | Rodman House | San Bruno Primate Shelter | Golden Gate Bridge | Muir Woods Park | Ape Mountain | Ape Gate | Ape Village | Caesar's Home | Warehouse | Ape Waterfall | The Border | Oasis
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (webcomic) | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Contagion | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (BOOM! Studios) | Before the Dawn | War for the Planet of the Apes (BOOM! Studios) | Planet of the Apes: The Time of Man | Planet of the Apes: The Simian Age | Planet of the Apes: Devolution
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Official Movie Novelization | War for the Planet of the Apes: Revelations | War for the Planet of the Apes - Official Movie Novelization | Caesar’s Story
Other Books
Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: The Art of the Films
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | War for the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album)
Video Games
Plague Inc: Simian Flu | Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier | Crisis on the Planet of the Apes VR