Published On: Mon, Feb 7th, 2011

‘Avengers’ News: Cobie Smulders cast as SHIELD Agent Maria Hill to join Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury

“How I Met Your Mother” star Cobie Smulders has emerged as the front runner for the role of SHIELD Agent Maria Hill in the Joss Whedon-directed “The Avengers” and that a deal could be done before the weekend is out, according to Deadline.com.

Samuel L. Jackson revealed during an interview with Jimmy Fallon that he would be Nick Fury in the film and has been reading with five actresses “vying for an unidentified female sidekick role,” the outlet stated, adding “That audition happened yesterday.”

They list other actresses up for the role: Morena Baccarin, Jessica Lucas and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

“Smulders wasn’t completely unknown to Whedon. In fact, he liked her as a candidate for Wonder Woman when he was working on that superhero film,” they noted before stating that “the role is Maria Hill, who in the comics was the ruthless interim executive director of SHIELD, who was not above blackmailing and bullying superheros to get her way. She was eventually supplanted in that top job by Tony Stark aka Iron Man.

As with all Marvel movies, the deal comes with a pile of options for appearances in future superhero films.

“The Avengers” will be released by Disney May 4, 2012, and it shapes up as the equivalent of a superhero All Star game: Robert Downey Jr brings his Iron Man character, Jeremy Renner is Hawkeye, Scarlett Johansson is Black Widow, Chris Hemsworth is Thor, Mark Ruffalo is Bruce Banner/The Hulk, and Chris Evans is Captain America.

Tom Hiddleston is Loki and Clark Gregg reprises the role of SHIELD agent Phil Coulson that he played in the last Iron Man.

UPDATED with photo of Smulders as Hill.

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