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Cobie Smulders, star of the hit CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, has been named the frontrunner for the role of SHIELD agent Maria Hill in Marvel’s The Avengers. Earlier this week, Samuel L. Jackson told Jimmy Kimmel Live that he would be reading with several actresses for an unidentified sidekick role to accompany his Nick Fury character. Now, Deadline reports that the part is Maria Hill and that Smulders could have it before the weekend is through.
In the comics, Hill was a one-time Interim Executive Director of SHIELD known for showing the same ruthlessness that Nick Fury showed the superheroes. It sounds like she will be Fury’s protege in the film.
This is the second time Smulders has been mentioned around a Joss Whedon film. Whedon was interested in the actress when he was attached to making a “Wonder Woman” film.
It’s hard to imagine Smulders doing anything serious. Although she shows some dramatic and emotional range playing Robin Scherbatsky on “Mother,” the character serves as the butt of a lot of jokes and Smulders executes it with very little self-seriousness. Hard to picture her barking orders at the likes of Robert Downey Jr. and using serious combat skills, but she does do some of those things on the show, just not without a punchline coming at the end of it. Signing on for this film (and consequently any SHIELD or likely Nick Fury spin-offs) would be tremendous for her career.
The star-studded cast of The Avengers hits theaters on May 4, 2012.