During an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon earlier this week, actor Samuel L. Jackson mentioned he was test screening with actresses to play Nick Fury’s "sidekick" in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers which Heat Vision followed up with a shortlist of actresses up for that role. While some guessed incorrectly that it might be Janet van Dyne a.k.a. The Wasp, astute SuperHeroHype readers knew that it could only be S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Maria Hill, something that’s been confirmed by Deadline, who are now claiming that Joss Whedon has made a decision on who to play the role and it will go to Cobie Smulders of the hit CBS show "How I Met Your Mother."
Comic book readers will be aware of Hill’s role in the Marvel Universe as Nick Fury’s second-in-command who took over as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. when Fury went missing during the "Civil War" storyline. Maria Hill has also appeared in the Ultimate Universe (where Fury resembles Samuel L. Jackson) but in a different capacity, and she’s appeared in a couple of the cartoons as well, most recently voiced by Kari Wührer on "The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes."
If the deal goes through, Smulders (who Deadline says Whedon wanted to play his Wonder Woman) will have beaten out Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jessica Lucas and Morena Baccarin ("V") for the role, and she’ll be joining Scarlett Johansson as the only other female role in the film so far.