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Cooper is the secondary antagonist of the 2011 sci-fi adventure thriller film Super 8.

In the film, he was portrayed by Bruce Greenwood, who also played Nick Parsons in Double Jeopardy, Gerald Burlingame in Gerald's Game, The President in Kingsman: The Golden Circle.


Cooper is a humanoid alien that stands up to 12 feet tall with six limbs and gray skin with white stripes. He also has secondary membrane-like eyelids that cover his real eyes. Aside to protect his eyes from harm, the secondary eyelid may also be used to expresses anger or bitterness, as after talked some sense with Joe telepathically, Cooper opened the said eyelid and left to finish his project to build machine and rebuild his disassembled starship.



Prior to the events of the movie, in 1958, Cooper crash-landed on Earth and was captured by the military. He was placed in a holding cell for observation and under the care of Dr. Thomas Woodward who he came in contact with. Woodward then realized that all Cooper wanted was to rebuild his ship so he may return to his planet. But Colonel Nelec did not care about it. Therefore, he intended to have Cooper killed so his physiology could be studied.

Super 8[]

21 years later in 1979, Cooper was transported to another military base under the command of Colonel Nelec somewhere near Lillian, Ohio. However, on the way to the base, the train crashed when Dr. Woodward drives a truck right into it on purpose, which allowed Cooper to escape and establish a temporary lair under the town. Afterwards, he stole various electrical equipment available in the town and captured some humans and local pets for food stock, including Alice. He stole the equipment so he could rebuild a sophisticated device that can attract hi-tech cube that his ship was composed of. However, this attracted Nelec's attention due to the town's citizens becoming concerned with missing people and electrical equipment thievery across the town.

To keep the civilians from knowing what he and the alien did, Nelec commenced Operation: Walking Distance to cause faked forest fire so everyone immediately evacuated. This also included disposing Dr. Woodward for his rebellion and other people whom know too much about the alien. As Nelec captured Joe and his friends to be executed inside a bus, Cooper, who saw the opportunity to avenge his torture by the Colonel, attacked the bus and managed to kill Nelec's men, indirectly saving the kids' lives in the process as they barely managed to escape. Meanwhile, after most of the soldiers were killed, Nelec tried his best to stop Cooper, but fails and momentarily witnessed a close glared on the alien before Cooper then bits his head off, killing him in an instant. Soon after, Cooper left the wrecked bus while the children watched from a safe distance.

While Joe and Cary find Cooper's lair and look for Alice, Cooper returns and starts eating some civilians before resuming his job; Joe notices Alice, he then asks Cary to use his firecrackers not as a weapon but a distraction, Cooper continues working and is nearly about to eat Alice, however Cary finally lights the fireworks near one of the tunnels. This result in the alien leaving Alice alone and running off to investigate the cause of that sound. By the time the trio and other captured civilians made their way to escape, Cooper then smells them and heads back, chasing after them.

He brutally grabs Sheriff Pruitt and kills him, the remaining four ran for their lives. Cooper then killed the woman, leaving just the kids. The trio came to a dead end and are confronted by Cooper. While Cary and Alice panic as Cooper approaches them, Joe walks toward the alien. Cary and Alice watch as Joe starts speaking to Cooper, not expecting Joe to try to reason with him. Cooper then grabs Joe, who quietly speaks to the alien, telling him over and over that "bad things happen" but that he "can still live". After studying Joe for a moment and seeing his memories through their physical contact, Cooper apparently realized that there are other humans who are good to him just like Dr. Woodward among bad ones, spared him as he heard his device was fully activating. Cooper puts Joe safely back down to the ground and departs. Cooper is last seen where once his disassembled ship had finally reformed plus was fixed, he then boards it and soon begun the journey back to his homeworld.


  • Sheriff Pruitt (enemy, killed)
  • Breen (victim, killed)
  • A repairman (victim, killed)
  • Unnamed woman (killed)
  • Alice Dainard (captured victim, spared)
  • Unspecified number of people (killed)
  • Nelec's private (enemy, killed)
  • A few military soldiers (enemies, killed)
  • Colonel Nelec (archnemesis, killed)
  • Dr. Thomas Woodward (first friend on Earth, deceased)
  • Joe Lamb (voice of reason, spared)


  • Despite being an antagonist, Cooper was only considered as that because the reason why he rampaged on humans was that he thought most of them were bad with the exception of Dr. Woodward after being taken captive by the Air Force and sent to another base via train, which caused Dr. Woodward to crash his pickup truck on the train which setup the events of the second half of the movie. However, Joe, having been traumatized by his mother's death, was the reason why he convinced the alien to still live as well as to stop murdering people since bad things could still happen.
  • Cooper being convinced by Joe that terrible things can still happen and still live could somewhat be similar to Hogarth Hughes from The Iron Giant, when he convinces the Iron Giant that killing is wrong and that he shouldn't be a gun as well as to convince him to choose his own pathway. Although similar to Cooper, the Iron Giant had a special bond with Hogarth and even helped save two boys from falling from their deaths, but still went on a rampage and attacked the military after believing Hogarth died.
  • He is somewhat similar to the Cloverfield Monster from the 2008 film of the same name, also produced by JJ Abrams. However, Abrams would later state that Cooper is not related to the Cloverfield monster.
  • Due to Super 8 being set in the 70s, the monster could've been the inspiration for the other two monsters from the Netflix original series, Stranger Things, which seemingly take place in the 80s.
  • The name of the monster is never revealed in the film; it is titled in the credits.