Originally Posted by Dark Raven
Since Alexis Denisof was playing The Other, maybe they could have Maria Hill doing SHIELD news reports sitting next to him.
I don't usually like Whedon casting all his old cast members from previous shows, but on the one occasion where he should've done (with Morena Baccarin) he fell through there. I can't see how Robin Sherbatsky actually performed the role better at an audition than Morena that he thought she was more suitable.
People can even see from Morena's other roles that she's a better actress than Cobie, and Cobie showed how bad she was in that deleted opening scene that started with her being interviewed.
Did Baccarin test for the Hill role? Smulders is the only actress whose name I've seen mentioned regarding screen testing for the part. If Baccarin did test and was passed over, that's a shame because she would have nailed the role. Some Smulders supporters have argued that the part was so small that she had no chance to show her acting chops, but others have taken even smaller roles and made a huge impact. Case in point: Clark Gregg, who became a fan favorite with just a handful of scenes over four movies. There were scenes in which Hill had confrontations with Fury where she could have shown some of Hill's toughness, but she came off weak instead. Even though I despise Hill I was disappointed in Smulders because the character should have been stronger and more of a match for Fury than she was.
There were a couple of articles that said Whedon and Smulders are friends and neighbors, which pretty much explains why he's been so set on using her. Even when talking about the scrapped opening and closing scenes with Hill, Whedon was careful to say that Smulders' performance wasn't the issue. That said to me that she was
the problem but he was looking to deflect attention. From fan accounts of test screenings we know that Marvel tried out the Hill-centric wraparound scenes before dumping them, so maybe negative reactions were key.
Recasting Hill wouldn't be any problem if
Whedon were open to it. Marvel has successfully recast bigger roles in the past. They could go with Baccarin, if available, or another actress who would be more suited to the role. Given Whedon's friendship with Smulders a recast doesn't seem likely, though. Maybe they will simply keep the role small in future movies. It would be easy enough to expand the role of the already popular Agent Coulson, or bring in another of the SHIELD agents from the comics to fill the second-in-command role.