Cobie Smulders Closes in on Playing Maria Hill of SHIELD in The Avengers

Well now we know two things about that impending “Avengers” casting — one, that “How I Met Your Mother” star Cobie Smulders has emerged as the frontrunner to be Nick Fury’s sidekick in Joss Whedon’s upcoming superhero team film for Marvel, and two, she is this close to playing Maria Hill of SHIELD.

In the comics, Maria Hill eventually became the head of SHIELD, but that’s the comics, and this is the movie, and in the movie Hill will just be Nick Fury’s right-hand man. Or, er, woman.

I have to admit, I was expecting Morena Baccarin to come out the frontrunner for the role given her past with Whedon, but I suppose Smulders would make a pretty good SHIELD agent head honcho-in-training. She’s got that serious look about her that will make a pretty convincing and even intimidating SHIELD agent.

The Canadian Smulders is one of the stars of CBS’ oddly entertaining “How I Met Your Mother”, one of those TV shows you don’t think is any good until you actually sit down to watch an entire episode, then find yourself kinda liking. Or at least, that’s my experience. She was also Whedon’s top candidate to play Wonder Woman while he was trying (futilely) to adapt that movie.

“The Avengers” assemble May 4, 2012 with Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, and Scarlett Johansson.

Below: Smulders as former Canadian pop star Robin Sparkles on “How I Met Your Mother”. I expect Maria Hill won’t be breaking out into songs about the mall anytime soon on “The Avengers”, though.