Rumors started flying late last week regarding casting for the role of “Nick Fury’s assistant” in Marvel’s upcoming film, The Avengers. Names were quickly thrown around, including Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), Jessica Lucas (Cloverfield), Morena Baccarin (“V”) and Cobie Smulders (“How I Met Your Mother”); the latter two actresses being previously linked to Avengers director, Joss Whedon. Baccarin had appeared in his space western, “Firefly”, and Smulders was reported to be his top choice for the role of Wonder Woman when he was attached to write and direct that film a few years ago.
It was also unclear which character would be placed in the role of “sidekick” to Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury. Janet van Dyne/The Wasp was the first thought among speculators, but it was later confirmed that the role would be that of Maria Hill, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, and later S.H.I.E.L.D. Director in Fury’s absence during Marvel’s “Civil War” arc.
On Monday, it was announced that Cobie Smulders had been cast in the role. She joins not only Jackson, but Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, and Mark Ruffalo in the ever-expanding cast of Marvel’s superhero opus.
Personally, I think Morena Baccarin would have been a better choice for the role. Currently appearing in “V” with very short hair, she bares a striking resemblance to the character of Maria Hill. She also has the ability to play cold and calculating, qualities many comic readers will attribute to the no-nonsense Hill. However, Smulders is known to television audiences as Robin Scherbatsky, the tomboyish beauty on CBS’s “How I Met Your Mother.” Her ability to be seen as “one of the guys” on that show might have been the quality that convinced Whedon and the filmmakers that she could hold her own alongside Samuel L. Jackson and the veritable “boys club” that is The Avengers.
The Avengers is due in theaters on May 4th, 2012.