Audiences got to know Cobie Smulders as quirky morning news anchor and part-time love interest on the CBS television comedy hit How I Met Your Mother, and now she’ll get her chance to win over fans on the big screen.  It was recently announced that a “female assistant to Nick Fury” was being cast, and due to reports we now know that role is Maria Hill, and Colbie Smulders is in final negotiations to take the part.  While Hill isn’t necessarily a name which casual comic book fans might know, having done a little research into the character’s background, she’s certainly more than just a clipboard-holding, coffee-fetching assistant.  She amounts to something similar to a side-kick for S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury.

Though it’s tough to determine exactly which storylines the writers and producers have in mind for the Avengers films, Maria Hill has held several vital roles in past comic book storylines, including that of Deputy Director for S.H.I.E.L.D. and interim Executive Director.

Joe Quesada, current Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment and former editor-in-chief (from 2000 through 2010) describes Maria Hill as:

…such a strong personality, she’s like a force of nature and quite frankly, while perhaps not immediately loved by all involved, she’s certainly as strong and imposing a figure as Nick Fury. Right now I feel that people view her as the outsider but [while] I don’t think she’s any harsher than Fury has ever been, what’s different is that we aren’t quite clear about her motives.

With no fewer than five films building up to its birth, Marvel comics is planning an AVENGERS movie project which will span multiple films.  Actors performing in key roles in the films have signed multi-film contracts, with some characters having not but one or two scenes in any given movie, such as Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury (a key figure as relates to the Avengers and the S.H.I.E.L.D squad).

Previously identified as auditioning finalists for to the role were V star Morena Baccarin, Jessica Lucas (Melrose Place) and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs The World).

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