February 7th, 2011
05:54 PM ET
"How I Met Your Mother" star Cobie Smulders is getting ready to kick some serious bad-guy butt. The actress is reportedly the front-runner for a role as Samuel L. Jackson's sidekick in Joss Whedon's upcoming superhero ensemble "The Avengers."
Last week, Jackson revealed to talk-show host Jimmy Fallon that his character, Nick Fury, would be getting a female partner. Now Deadline.com reports that Smulders has auditioned and is the favorite to play Maria Hill, the ruthless executive director of the planetary defense/intelligence service S.H.I.E.L.D.
Hill, according to Deadline, is "not above blackmailing and bullying superheroes to get her way."
Smulders — who is said to have beat out fellow candidates Morena Baccarin, Jessica Lucas and Mary Elizabeth Winstead — is clearly a favorite of Whedon: She was one of his top picks to play Wonder Woman in a film he was planning about the Amazing Amazon a few years ago.
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