In a recent interview Samuel L. Jackson revealed that he would be reading as Nick Fury in auditions with actresses for an unspecified role in The Avengers. The logical assumption for any comic book fan is that the role must be for Maria Hill, the ruthless hero-hating soldier that eventually took the role of leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. from Fury. Deadline has confirmed those fan boy assumptions.
Deadline reports that Cobie Smulders, best known for her role as Robin Scherbatsky on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, is nearing a deal to take the role.
Avengers director Joss Whedon actually considered Smulders for the role of Wonder Woman during his short stint working on that project. Other actresses who auditioned for the role in The Avengers include Marina Baccarin, who Whedon also worked with on Firefly, Jessica Lucas, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
The role, as is the situation with all Marvel movie roles, offers up opportunities for appearances in various other Marvel film franchises and probably even requires a multi-picture contract. We’ll have more on this story as the announcements happen, and they should happen quickly because the film goes into production in April. Disney will release The Avengers on May 4, 2012.