[UPDATE: Vulture has come out and updated their interview with Smulders - apparently she was misquoted in the article, and DIDN'T say anything that would suggest Maria Hill has a superpower in The Avengers. Chalk this one up to miscommunication. We've posted the corrected quote below.]
Even though The Avengers is bringing together a group of characters who Marvel Studios has spent years introducing and developing, the epic team-up flick is also taking the time to introduce a few new characters from the books. One of those characters is S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Maria Hill, a character who'll be played by Canadian actress Cobie Smulders as she makes her big screen debut.
In February when Smulders was cast as Hill in The Avengers, the news was met with mixed reaction. While she looks the part, her career-defining gig as part of How I Met Your Mother's ensemble cast has in a role that doesn't fit the strict and stern Agent from Marvel Comics. Her S.H.I.E.L.D. outfit aside, it is her appearance and role in the organization as Nick Fury's (Samuel L. Jackson) sidekick that may be the only character traits keep faithful to the source material.
Vulture interviewed Smulders about some of her character's important moments in this season of How I Met Your Mother but they did manage to squeeze in a few questions about the Marvel movie we all want to hear about. Her answers discuss what may be an important character/plot spoiler so read ahead at your own risk and avoid if you want to enjoy the surprises the film has to offer.
While Smulders kept rather secretive about revealing details for her TV show, she may have slipped and revealed a major character detail about the film studio's version of Agent Hill, one that differs significantly from the books. The following is Smulders' response to a question about her sporting some cool costumes in the movie:
"I do. They’re very sleek, and very leather. And she has superpowers and is hyperintelligent; a very nice, fine woman who has all the answers."
UPDATE: Here is the actual quote that Smulders supposedly gave to Vulture:
I do. They’re very sleek, and very leather. And if she had a superpower it would be that she is hyperintelligent; a very nice, fine woman who has all the answers.
Small change of words that makes a very big difference...
SHIELD Agent Hill has superpowers? Wow. In the books, Hill is a "regular" human whose only abilities come from her special training as part of the secret organization. Smulders may have slipped or meant it figuratively as a bad-ass, well-trained character... or she may have just revealed that Hill actually is some sort of superhuman. Perhaps she's even a Skrull, the highly rumored shapeshifting villains expected to appear in the movie...
If anything, the one still we nabbed of Hill in costume on set (above - click to enlarge) depicts her wielding a standard SHIELD sidearm so if she has powers, they evidently aren't offensive.
Is this just a misunderstanding or do you think Joss Whedon's take on the character may upgrade Hill with powers? If this does prove true, it could be Whedon's attempt at introducing a female superhero since they weren't able to fit Wasp into the movie, a character who we are told was initially planned to star in the film with a design shockingly similar to Angel Salvadore from X-Men: First Class.
It's more likely that Smulders simply means that her character is more super than Robin Sparkles, but that's debatable.
The Avengers stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Clark Gregg, Tom Hiddleston and Stellan Skarsgard. It is of course written and directed by Joss Whedon, opening in theaters on May 4, 2012.
Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.
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