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Maurice is a supporting major protagonist in the 2011 film Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the deuteragonist in the 2014 sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and the 2017 sequel War for the Planet of the Apes.
He is a former circus orangutan who was eventually freed and granted heightened intelligence by the ape revolutionary leader, Caesar. Maurice serves as Caesar's closest friend and adviser. He also serves as the ape colony's teacher and mentor to all the younger apes, teaching them how to communicate through sign language and all the laws that Caesar has put in place for all of them to live better lives.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
When Caesar was first brought to the San Bruno Primate Shelter, Maurice took an immediate interest in him noting that Caesar was different from the other apes somehow and from a distance he watched as the chimpanzee struggled to fit in with his fellow apes. Maurice would then witness Caesar being horribly beaten by Rocket, the cruel alpha male of the shelter. He later watched as Caesar began to sulk in his cell over his time in the shelter. Through sign language, he asked Caesar if he was hurt bad, surprising Caesar as he had no idea another ape at the shelter knew sign language as well. Maurice then reveals to Caesar that he is a former circus orangutan and because the humans dislike smart apes he keeps it a secret from the shelter staff. This encounter relieved and lifted Caesar's spirits as he finally made a friend at the shelter and the two apes would be seen conversing with each other more often.
One night, Maurice noticed Caesar escaping from his cell and heading to the play den. Later on, he along with the other apes watched as Caesar and his new friend Buck the gorilla threatened Rocket. After Caesar overthrew Rocket as Alpha, Maurice was puzzled as to why Caesar would later make Rocket give cookies (he stole from Dodge Landon) to all the apes in the facility. Maurice then asked Caesar his reason to having Rocket give the cookies to all the apes, Caesar replied that apes are weak separately but strong when together however, the pair soon saw two apes fight in the water behaving foolishly causing Maurice to point out the flaw by saying "Apes stupid". This comment unknowingly gave Caesar an idea and prompted him to return to his old home and steal canisters of Will's ALZ-113 drug and expose the other apes to it. After receiving the ALZ-113 overnight, Maurice was examined by Caesar who saw that he had new green eyes which showed his increased intelligence. Maurice nodded his head in thanks to Caesar for giving him new intelligence. Maurice is then seen with the other apes in the den as Caesar tells them of his plans to escape the shelter and head to the Muir Woods Park.
He would pay witness to Caesar's confrontation with Dodge Landon growing agitated as Caesar was shocked by the caretaker but would be relieved as the Ape defeated the human and locked him in a cell. Maurice would be freed from his cell and escaped the shelter with Caesar and the other apes who would head for the outskirts of the city where Caesar divided his forces into two groups. Buck and other apes were tasked with freeing the captive apes in the San Francisco Zoo while Maurice and Rocket would aid Caesar in freeing their fellow apes at the Gen-Sys Laboratories which boosted up their numbers. The evolved apes then met up with Buck's group and headed out to the streets that broke out into chaos.
With more apes in the army whose numbers rose to hundreds, Maurice became the third-in-command of the ape army and the leader of the orangutan forces. Later, in the city he and Buck were cornered by the police, but he used a manhole lid as a weapon to throw at one of the police cars, which caused it to crash into a small shop while Buck threw parking meter at another police car stopping it dead in it's tracks. The two would meet up with Caesar and Rocket as they used a trolley to travel to their next target the Golden Gate Bridge.
Once at the Golden Gate Bridge, the apes caused massive chaos which made the humans flee in terror. This act would alert the police force and have them put the bridge on lockdown and a form a blockade to hold off the apes as they approached the bridge's center. However, Caesar anticipating this strategy and had his army stopped. Caesar ordered the new recruit Koba to take some chimpanzees up the high wires of the bridge to attack the police from above while Maurice, the other orangutans, and some of the chimpanzees were ordered by Caesar to attack from the bottom of the bridge supports. As he climbed beneath the bridge, Maurice had noticed a chimpanzee named Wolfie fall to his death after being shot down by the humans. This angered him to the point where he had his group climb faster to the bridge's center. While this was happening Caesar had the gorilla's use their strength to push a bus in the range of police bullets. With the police out of bullets the Caesar led his forces against the human forces causing a fierce battle. Now without any obstacles, Maurice and his group then join their brethren in the battle and manage to defeat the police blockade and celebrate in their victory against the humans.
The apes would then leave the bridge and head for the safety of Muir Woods Park, which they made their new home. Maurice and the other apes watched as Caesar said his final goodbyes to his adoptive human father Will Rodman. Afterwards, Caesar turned to walk to his favorite tree and turned around to walk to his new comrades as Maurice and the others started to stand upright like Caesar, who ran up to and climbed at the top of the tree where he was joined by Maurice and Rocket, who sat on adjacent trees overlooking the city of San Francisco which was now in utter chaos.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Ten years later, Maurice has helped the other apes build a large thriving village in the Muir Woods Park where he has become an overseer and teacher to the young apes of the growing ape colony. Because of his role as a teacher many of the apes evolved or otherwise have learned how to use the ability of sign language as a way of communication. Maurice also appears to have take on a lawgiver role teaching the other apes the "Ape not kill ape" law which is shown to be a serious warning to those that would dare break the colony's rules. He has earned himself a place in Ape Council and he has remained close friends with Caesar to the point where they view each other as brothers and to the point where Caesar's oldest son Blue Eyes sees Maurice as an uncle.
Maurice is first seen teaching the younger generation in the village as Caesar's hunting party returns. After the birth of Caesar's second son, Maurice sits with him and congratulates him. They then talk about the humans and how few they have seen in the past ten years. Maurice states that unlike Caesar, he never got to know the good side of humans, only their bad side. The next day, Maurice awakens to the sound of a gunshot and accompanies the other apes to its origins where they discover that a group of humans have shot Ash (Rocket's son). The apes then scare off the humans by yelling at them (in English) as the humans flee, Maurice takes an immediate interest in Alexander's satchel (which was left behind following Carver's accidental attack on Ash) while Caesar orders koba and others to follow the humans. Maurice is later seen fiddling with his new discovery while the other apes are shown arguing over what to do with the humans. He takes an active part in the meeting by disagreeing with Koba's wish to immediately attack the remaining humans, stating they do not know how many of them remain. Their argument would be interrupted by Caesar who says he has a more peaceful way to settle things with the humans. The next morning, Maurice would march into the city with his people as Caesar issues his warning of war to the humans if they dare enter ape territory again before returning the satchel.
Later on, Maurice and his fellow apes are in the woods watching over the humans as they all wake up. He looks through Alexander's comics as the human questions him if he can read to which the ape doesn't answer. Maurice later sits with Alexander and becomes fascinated by his comics and drawings, and begins to become sympathetic to the humans just as Caesar was to them as well. Maurice would then join his people when the humans go to work at the San Francisco Dam to restore power to the city and is question by Caesar as to where Koba had went. Later when the humans are in trouble at the dam Maurice and his friends help them escape from the area before they drown from the rising water flooding the building. Maurice would then witness Koba angrily walk in the building and attack the humans while demanding Caesar to come out. When Koba was about to attack Alexander and Malcolm, Maurice got in the way and protected his new human friends from the angry ape and would as Caesar nearly beats Koba to death for his insolence but stops himself by remembering the "Ape Not Kill Ape" law (as it is the first Law of Caesar).
When the city of San Francisco has it's power restored, the apes and the humans would celebrate not just for the humans benefits but for the royal ape family when Cornelia suddenly walks out alive and well. The apes would continue to celebrate until the sound of gunshot is heard and Caesar's body falls from a tree branch much to the horror of his people. Along with that the Ape Village suddenly bursts into flames causing the apes to flee from their home as Blue Eyes emerges with a gun and the ape hating human Carver's baseball cap. Blue Eyes his new discovery with the other apes while Maurice watching speaks by telling Malcolm and his family to run for their lives. As they flee, Koba comes out of nowhere taking up the mantle of Ape king by telling the apes that humans attacked and killed Caesar and burnt their homes. He then orders them to retaliate by killing humans while they are vulnerable. It is unknown where Maurice went while the rest of the rowdy and angry apes took up arms and went on to attack the city killing many humans.
Following the supposed death of Caesar, Koba and his army have seized control of San Francisco imprisoning any human survivor in cells due to wanting them to see the oppression of apes. Koba also imprisoned any ape who refuses to kill human and remain a loyal follower to Caesar on a bus right next to the humans cells, these apes imprisoned include Maurice, Rocket, Luca and others. Maurice would later be visited by Blue Eyes who he warns to stay away for his own safety.
Later on, Maurice and other captives would sit and are forced to watch the madness Koba has begun before noticing Caesar's emblem appear on the window of the bus and would see blue eyes at the corner telling them to be quiet and wait for his return. At night, the captive apes start a ruckus causing their guards to try and quell the situation but they are overpowered by the prisoners who shake the bus on the other side, this act distracts the guard ape long enough for the human prisoners to escape. Blue Eyes then returns and liberates his uncles before they all flee the area. The assemble group joins blue eyes and return to the Rodman House where they find their leader and friend Caesar still alive telling them Koba's madness will end. Maurice would be a close witness to Caesar and Koba's fight as they battle for the title of the Ape king. When Koba gets hold of a gun and open fire on the other apes Maurice is injured by one of Koba's stray bullets gaining a scar in the process. For the rest of the battle he was shown being carried to safety by Blue Eyes and Rocket before watching as Caesar tackles Koba and leaves the bonobo hanging from the ledge of the Human Colony's building. The wounded Maurice watches as Caesar drops Koba to his death and would celebrate Caesar restoration to power and join him in regrouping with the other apes. Maurice is then seen bowing down to Caesar along with the other apes awaiting the impending battle with the humans to come.
War for the Planet of the Apes