When I first read the casting rumours for Nick Fury’s assistant in The Avengers, my initial thought was, “Who the hell cares?”, and while my general feeling towards this news story hasn’t really changed all that much, there are a couple of things that probably make it worth posting. First of all, I should have realized that in the world of comics, there are very rarely any characters that exist strictly as civilians… virtually everyone has a secret identity and/or super power. In this case, according to Deadline.com, the character in question is Maria Hill, a trained S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who took over as director for a time. Although director Joss Whedon was reportedly meeting with a number of candidates, Heat Vision is now claiming that this is basically a done deal, with Cobie Smulders in final negotiations for the role.
Smulder is best known as Robin Scherbatsky on How I Met Your Mother, although she also recently starred in The Slammin’ Salmon. She apparently beat out Serenity star Morena Baccarin for the part, as well as Jessica Lucas and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. While that may seem a bit surprising, Whedon is supposedly a fan of Smulder and also had her on his shortlist of possibilities for Wonder Woman once upon a time.
From what I understand, Maria Hill is not a superhero per se, but it seems like she could very well be involved in the action — at least as much as Clark Gregg, who plays another S.H.I.E.L.D. agent named Phil Coulson. The deal will have a number of options to ensure her involvement in any future spin-offs and sequels. What do you think, is this a good casting choice, and does it give any hints as to what Whedon’s The Avengers might have in store for us?