Cobie Smulders 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.

Get more of today's latest news