What was once “very likely” is now “yes definitely.” How I Met Your Mother‘s Cobie Smulders is officially on board as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill in the 2012 Joss Whedon-directed The Avengers film, says Variety.
Smulders emerged as the front-runner on Saturday, after Samuel L. Jackson revealed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon that producers were auditioning “female sidekick” for his Nick Fury. This helps balance a heavily male cast that previously counted only Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow as a known major female player. Maria Hill was created by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist David Finch, having first appeared in New Avengers #4 before becoming interim executive director of S.H.I.E.L.D. during Civil War. The character is currently appearing in the Bendis-written, John Romita Jr.-illustrated Avengers flagship title.
Smulders is familiar to Whedon fans — she was reported as a front-runner for the role of Wonder Woman when the writer/director was attached to that property; her How I Met Your Mother co-star is Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum Alyson Hannigan, and the show has seen several Whedon vets show up as guest stars, including Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker and Morena Baccarin.
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