"Take your stinkin' paws off me, you damned dirty ape!"

The enigmatic Marcus first appeared in Fox's promotional material before the release of the first movie, with the tagline "This is Marcus: Head of Security Police. His specialties: violence and torture. His mission: To keep man a caged animal on the Planet of the Apes", but he didn't appear by name in the finished movie. In the script, Marcus is mentioned only once - when Dr. Zaius orders him to 'seal the cave' at the end of the movie, however in the filmed scene Zaius calls him 'lieutenant'. The actor (Bob Lombardo) who played Marcus (in this scene and in the promotional material) also appeared as the gorilla (scripted as 'Ape Lieutenant') that asked that "No. 9 be ready in five minutes" to Julius, and pushes Zira away from Taylor as he's hanging in the net, saying to Zira: "Security Police".

He may also be one of the gorillas that stops Zira and Lucius as they escape the city in a scene that was cut.[1]

Marvel Comics' Planet of the Apes adaptation, based on the earlier script, briefly mentions Marcus by name at the cave scene. It could be assumed that these are all the character of 'Marcus'.

In BOOM! Studios' Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm, Marcus' past is explored more fully. Marcus was a trusted member of the Ape City security force at the time of the Moon's destruction, and was appointed to replace the inefficient Burrus by Zaius. As a gorilla official, Marcus was an unusually intelligent and sympathetic to the plight of chimps and other species. He helped deliver Zaius' grandchild but could not save Valentina. As chimps and the followers of Timon (including Marcus' daughter Lucilla) became more uncontrollable, Zaius asked the army chief Ursus to restore order, bringing him into direct conflict with Marcus, but Marcus was able to convince the gorilla soldiers not to open fire on the rioters.

In the 2011 novel Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes, set at the time of Planet of the Apes, Marcus was Chief of the Simian Secret Security Police Force, and also the director of the Hunt Club composed of members of that force. He was the son of Digby, a lecherous gorilla who fathered sons by many gorillas (including the photographer) and even one son (Mungwortt) by a chimp (Nila), all of whom bore a strong resemblance to Marcus, much to his humiliation. Marcus' wife was Malia, whose father was a maker of apricot wine, and their children were Jaffe, the eldest son, Sata, the greedy second son, Kenya, their daughter, and Zaius, their youngest son who was named after Marcus' mentor. Marcus collaborated closely with Zaius in investigating the movements of Dr. Galen and the speaking human Landon, and in opposing the machinations of General Ursus, but while trying to arrest Dr. Galen, both were pushed off a bridge by Landon, presumably falling to their deaths. This happened immediately before the trial of Landon's colleague George Taylor, meaning that Marcus could not have been present at the detonation of the cave excavation site. In the 2018 novel Death of the Planet of the Apes, Jaffe joins the gorilla army in search of revenge against the humans for the death of his father.


  • Bob Lombardo also played the photographer after the hunt scene. As such, he is the first ape we hear speaking ("Smile!"). It's possible that the photographer and Marcus are the same character. In Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes, it is revealed that they are half-brothers.
  • Though Marcus and the Hunt Leader are often assumed to be the same character, this is not the case, as they were played by two different actors.


  • Marcus was singled out for a series of posters also featuring Taylor, Zaius and Nova.
  • According to The Ape newspaper distributed in theatres showing the movie in 1968, the 'Simian Star', the highest ape award for valour, was given to the apes who recaptured Taylor.[2]
  • Neil Foster & Michael Whitty's fan-fiction comic Within The Planet Of The Apes portrays Marcus as the gorilla who helps the previous 'Chief of Security', Ursus, get the evidence he needs to create an army and become a general, leaving his post free for 'Lieutenant Marcus'.

A combined image of Marcus and an ape mob inspired a Czechoslovak film poster and a Japanese comic cover


External Links


  1. Final Shooting Script at Hunter's Planet of the Apes Archive
  2. 'Planet of the Apes' promotional material

Marcuscutscene2 Marcuscutscene Marcusmarvel Marcuswithin

Planet of the Apes - The Original Pentalogy Series
Planet of the Apes (APJ) Movies
Planet of the Apes | Beneath the Planet of the Apes | Escape from the Planet of the Apes | Conquest of the Planet of the Apes | Battle for the Planet of the Apes
Main Ape Characters
Zira | Cornelius | Zaius | Ursus | Milo | Caesar | Lisa | Virgil | Aldo | Cornelius II | Lawgiver
Supporting Ape Characters
Hunt Leader | Julius | Marcus | Galen | Honorius | Maximus | President of the Assembly | Lucius | Minister | Minister | Frank | Mandemus
Main Human Characters
George Taylor | Nova | John Landon | Dodge | John Brent | Mendez XXVI | Caspay | Ongaro | Albina | Fat Man | Lewis Dixon | Stephanie Branton | Otto Hasslein | Armando | Breck | MacDonald (Conquest) | MacDonald (Battle) | Kolp | Mendez I
Supporting Human Characters
Stewart | Maddox | Verger | General Winthrop | General Faulkner | The President | Chairman of the President's Committee of Inquiry | E-1 | E-2 | Inspector Hoskyns | TV Newscaster | Mrs Riley | Mutant Captain | Jake | Jake's friend
Horse | Gorilla in Zoo
Items / Weapons
Sacred Scrolls | Human Doll | Alpha-Omega Bomb | Grape Juice Plus
Important Events / Battles
Ape Rebellion
Bellatrix | Orion | Earth's Moon | Ape City | Forbidden Zone | Statue of Liberty | Queensboro Plaza | Radio City Music Hall | Grand Central Terminal | New York Stock Exchange | St. Patrick's Cathedral' | New York City | Jefferson Public School | Los Angeles | Los Angeles Zoo | Forbidden City | Ape City (Caesar's City) | Council
Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes | Exile on the Planet of the Apes | Planet of the Apes: Ursus| Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern | Kong on the Planet of the Apes | Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes
Soundtrack Music
Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Beneath the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Escape from the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Battle for the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Music Of The Planet Of The Apes
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