It appears that the part of Nick Fury's top S.H.I.E.L.D. agent – whoever she is – is practically all sewn up with honors going to "How I Met Your Mother" actress Cobie Smulders. Variety has the word that the actress is in final talks with Marvel Studios to ink their standard nine-picture deal for a character closely connected to Samuel L. Jackson's one-eyed super spy.
The article says that Smulders is "wrapping up a deal" for the movie which apparently begins filming this April for a May 4, 2012 release. This places the actress above other noted contenders for the role including Morena Baccarin, Jessica Lucas and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. And while Smulders isn't one of Whedon's regular featured players, she does share TV time each week with former "Buffy" star Allison Hannigan and was noted by Whedon as his top choice to play Wonder Woman when his film pitch on that superheroine fell apart.
As for which character – superpowered or otherwise – Smulders will play in "Avengers," speculation has swung close to newer comic character Mariah Hill, a recent creation of writer Brian Michael Bendis, though word is not final from the studio.