Cobie Smulders

How I Met Your Mother star Cobie Smulders is the frontrunner to play Samuel L. Jackson's female sidekick in Joss Whedon's upcoming superhero flick, The Avengers, Deadline.com reports.

Smulders is set to play SHIELD Agent Maria Hill, who was the ruthless interim executive director of SHIELD in the comics. Smulders, whose deal is expected to close soon, reportedly beat out such actresses as Morena Baccarin, Jessica Lucas and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Whedon first took note of Smulders when he was trying to cast his failed Wonder Woman film, according to Deadline.com.

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Rampant speculation first began about Smulders' role after Jackson revealed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon that he would be reading with five actresses who were auditioning to be Nick Fury's sidekick in The Avengers.

The film is slated for a May 4, 2012 release and also stars Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man/Tony Star), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Hawkey), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/The Hulk), Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Chris Evans (Captain America).

Do you think Smulders is a good choice for the role?