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Old 11-11-2012, 11:30 PM   #176
Marathon
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Default Re: The Official Maria Hill/Cobie Smulders Thread

Watching The Avengers again, Smulders is by far the weakest link in the movie. (I'm sorry to any Smulders fan out there!) The character's execution in this film is a strange blunder from Whedon. Maybe things wouldn't be so bad if at least the character was cast right, but I think Smulders is completely miscast. She doesn't have any kind of believable mean streak or any kind of assertive personality about her, acting- or otherwise. Nothing about Smulders says Maria Hill at all.

It's a problem especially when that character is someone you should be able to easily (love to) hate. I could never hate Smulders' Hill. Maybe be slightly irritated with at best, but that's simply not good enough.

How Morena Baccarin was not cast as Maria Hill I'll never know. She has the looks, and through "V" has proven to be able to play a mean, cold-hearted b.... without any difficulty. I wonder if Whedon (with his massive ego, no doubt) tried to be too clever or whatever by not casting the "obvious" choice but it has backfired badly, very, very badly.

What should be a feisty and antagonistic character to fire/rile up Fury and the Avengers is now just a glorified extra, mousily reading status reports. It's "Aunt Robin" on a SHIELD holiday. It's ridiculous.

Yes, recastings are always awkward, but I think it's about the only option left to salvage the MCU Maria Hill. Smulders' Hill is Hill in name only. Retcon the Smulders' Hill as an impostor/doppelgänger/skrull/mole/lifelike decoy and get Morena on board as the real Hill, freeing herself from the fake Hill's organization's stronghold (or something like that).

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Old 11-12-2012, 12:01 AM   #177
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Default Re: The Official Maria Hill/Cobie Smulders Thread

I have no strong feelings one way or the other about Smulders' portrayal.





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Old 11-12-2012, 05:15 AM   #178
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Default Re: The Official Maria Hill/Cobie Smulders Thread

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Originally Posted by Marathon View Post
Watching The Avengers again, Smulders is by far the weakest link in the movie. (I'm sorry to any Smulders fan out there!) The character's execution in this film is a strange blunder from Whedon. Maybe things wouldn't be so bad if at least the character was cast right, but I think Smulders is completely miscast. She doesn't have any kind of believable mean streak or any kind of assertive personality about her, acting- or otherwise. Nothing about Smulders says Maria Hill at all.

It's a problem especially when that character is someone you should be able to easily (love to) hate. I could never hate Smulders' Hill. Maybe be slightly irritated with at best, but that's simply not good enough.

How Morena Baccarin was not cast as Maria Hill I'll never know. She has the looks, and through "V" has proven to be able to play a mean, cold-hearted b.... without any difficulty. I wonder if Whedon (with his massive ego, no doubt) tried to be too clever or whatever by not casting the "obvious" choice but it has backfired badly, very, very badly.

What should be a feisty and antagonistic character to fire/rile up Fury and the Avengers is now just a glorified extra, mousily reading status reports. It's "Aunt Robin" on a SHIELD holiday. It's ridiculous.

Yes, recastings are always awkward, but I think it's about the only option left to salvage the MCU Maria Hill. Smulders' Hill is Hill in name only. Retcon the Smulders' Hill as an impostor/doppelgänger/skrull/mole/lifelike decoy and get Morena on board as the real Hill, freeing herself from the fake Hill's organization's stronghold (or something like that).
I feel Morena Baccarin would've been better too. She looks just like the character and is a stronger actress than Smulders. I don't know about recasting though. I'd personally prefer not, but I suppose if we did get a really great performance out of Baccarin then maybe it might be worth it, but then it would make the Avengers look slightly odd and might tarnish the film.

I think Morena would've also been more striking to look at in the film, and perhaps people might've wanted to know who she is. I felt Smulders faded a bit into the background.

Maybe Whedon promised Smulders a movie, after trying to cast her as Wonder Woman a few years back. I don't think she would've been that great in that role either.

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Old 11-12-2012, 09:04 AM   #179
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Default Re: The Official Maria Hill/Cobie Smulders Thread

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I think Morena would've also been more striking to look at in the film, and perhaps people might've wanted to know who she is. I felt Smulders faded a bit into the background.
Yep, Smulders, at least on the big screen, is a bit of a non-entity, which, as I said, is not good enough IF the character IS supposed to be Maria Hill.

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Maybe Whedon promised Smulders a movie, after trying to cast her as Wonder Woman a few years back. I don't think she would've been that great in that role either.
Yes. I simply think Smulders is out of her depth trying to play figures which are supposed to command either resentment and hatred (Hill) or respect and veneration (Wonder Woman), in other words, some kind of authority. She certainly didn't show any Ledger-esque ability to transform against doubts (a fluffy sitcom actress with no track record of playing badasses/mean b.....s playing Maria Hill?) and disappear into the role. Almost on the contrary. It was almost as if Avengers and HIMYM filmed side-by-side and Smulders simply changed clothes between sets.

I wonder, too, if the casting of Smulders was indeed some sort of buddy service coupled with another Whedon ego trick: "hey, I can make a limited sitcom actress an abhorrent but badass military officer!". You couldn't, so admit your mistake and either write her even more down or recast. Anything else will be pretty much insufferable.

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Old 11-12-2012, 09:17 AM   #180
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Default Re: The Official Maria Hill/Cobie Smulders Thread

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.

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Old 11-12-2012, 02:04 PM   #181
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Default Re: The Official Maria Hill/Cobie Smulders Thread

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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.

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Old 11-12-2012, 02:08 PM   #182
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Default Re: The Official Maria Hill/Cobie Smulders Thread

Even if Smulders' character was random SHIELD agent no X instead of Maria Hill, it would have been an underwhelming performance. Her performance/delivery is flat and lacking in conviction, especially when pitted against Fury (or e.g. Tony Stark). She's a very limited actress even at the best of times (partly explaining why all those scenes were deleted) and just ill-suited for Hill. Oh well...

If there is no recast, then unfortunately the only option is to downplay the character's importance even more. Not sure if that's what was intended by Whedon at all, so he definitely has a huge egg on his face over the Maria Hill-gate, especially when Smulders has like a gazillion-movies - contract with Marvel. Awkward, awkward.

(Not to mention frustrating, since Hill was supposed to provide a completely different internal dynamic to SHIELD and influence both the Council and Fury, but not in a million years could Smulders convince in that kind of role.)


Last edited by Marathon; 11-12-2012 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:49 PM   #183
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Default Re: The Official Maria Hill/Cobie Smulders Thread

Well maybe she'll get a chance to develop if she ends up starring in the SHIELD tv series, especially if HIMYM finishes this year. It just seems a bit perverse that she of all actresses gets to star in one of the biggest films of all time, and she's not even that great an actress or even that charismatic a movie star.

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Old 11-13-2012, 02:32 AM   #184
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Default Re: The Official Maria Hill/Cobie Smulders Thread

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Well maybe she'll get a chance to develop if she ends up starring in the SHIELD tv series, especially if HIMYM finishes this year. It just seems a bit perverse that she of all actresses gets to star in one of the biggest films of all time, and she's not even that great an actress or even that charismatic a movie star.
Hopefully Smulders/Hill will be kept far away from the SHIELD series. There is a long list of established agents from the comics that I'd prefer to see before they use this thoroughly unlikable character. Even if Smulders were capable of pulling it off I'd say the same. The show should be focused more on the agents' missions than on conflict with a Janey One-Note tyrant in their ranks.

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Old 11-13-2012, 06:16 AM   #185
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Default Re: The Official Maria Hill/Cobie Smulders Thread

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Hopefully Smulders/Hill will be kept far away from the SHIELD series. There is a long list of established agents from the comics that I'd prefer to see before they use this thoroughly unlikable character. Even if Smulders were capable of pulling it off I'd say the same. The show should be focused more on the agents' missions than on conflict with a Janey One-Note tyrant in their ranks.
Well in the movies she isn't quite as much of a hardass, at least from what we've seen. Maybe they wouldn't quite go as far with her character as in the comics.

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Old 01-25-2014, 10:03 PM   #186
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Default Re: The Official Maria Hill/Cobie Smulders Thread

Hi guys,

I apologize in advance for the lengthy post.

I've been browsing the forums since 2012 however this is my first time actually posting anything on here. While I'm a big fan of CBMs I've only actually read a few comic books, (Joss Whedon's run on Astonishing X-Men, Batman: Knightfall and The World's Finest) all of which I thoroughly enjoyed. I've tried to avoid reading any comics that would give me spoilers for future Avengers related movies (particularly anything related to Thanos or Ultron).

Before I begin discussing Maria Hill, I should make it known that apart from the film, I'm only familiar with the character from her part in The Astonishing X-Men comics and the cartoon show The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

Now onto the topic at hand, there is one point in particular with which I agree and a few with which i disagree:

While I don't exactly think Cobie was bad as Maria Hill, I don't think she did anything special with it and I would love to see Morena Baccarin in the part, even if it means they would need re-cast the role.

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I wonder, too, if the casting of Smulders was indeed some sort of buddy service coupled with another Whedon ego trick: "hey, I can make a limited sitcom actress an abhorrent but badass military officer!". You couldn't, so admit your mistake and either write her even more down or recast. Anything else will be pretty much insufferable.
Now regarding your post here Marathon, I must respectfully disagree about Whedon's "ego". Regardless of what you think of his talent, he tends to be pretty humble, he gives credit where it's due and frequently displays the willingness to admit when he feels he's made a mistake or could have done something better. For example:

On his commentary for Buffy season 2, episode 14 "Innocence" Joss talks about how he originally tried to film a very emotional scene between Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanez outside on the front lawn of Buffy's house as opposed to in a more intimate setting: as a result the actors couldn't get to where they needed to emotionally so he had them move the scene to Angel's apartment which worked much better. Joss said the fact that he thought the scene could play in wooly overcoats on the front lawn showed that he still had a lot to learn as a writer and director.

On his commentary for Buffy season 5, episode 16 "The Body" he talks about how he made a mistake by putting the character of Joyce in the kitchen at the beginning of a dinner scene when he should have had her coming back and taking dishes away so as to have her be a constant presence in all the characters' lives. Unfortunately, he didn't realize this until after the episode had already aired.

There are also portions of The Avengers commentary that clearly show his modesty.

I strongly believe that Joss is not going to cast an actor in a part (even a buddy) unless he feels they have the potential to play said part well. Despite the occasional misstep in casting, I think he casts all his projects very well, particularly Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner. Thanks guys!


Last edited by See Cap Run; 01-26-2014 at 04:37 AM. Reason: Fix grammatical error
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:53 PM   #187
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Default Re: The Official Maria Hill/Cobie Smulders Thread

Whedon has done great things on TV and shone a light on some fantastic talent. God knows why he picked Cobie Smulders for the role when pretty much every female he's worked with prior would have been better in the role lol.

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Old 01-29-2014, 08:08 PM   #188
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Default Re: The Official Maria Hill/Cobie Smulders Thread

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Whedon has done great things on TV and shone a light on some fantastic talent. God knows why he picked Cobie Smulders for the role when pretty much every female he's worked with prior would have been better in the role lol.
Morena Baccarin would've been best suited. She even looks more like the character too. I'd say that in HIMYM, Cobie is probably one of the weakest cast members, if not the weakest.

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Old 02-13-2014, 11:46 PM   #189
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Default Re: The Official Maria Hill/Cobie Smulders Thread

Morena Baccarin would have been fun, but I don't think Cobie was horrible. and honestly comparing Avengers to HIMYM is about like comparing pizza to Ice Cream. too different.

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Old 02-14-2014, 04:29 AM   #190
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Default Re: The Official Maria Hill/Cobie Smulders Thread

Cobie was fantastic.Y'all on crack.

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Old 02-20-2014, 10:45 PM   #191
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Default Re: The Official Maria Hill/Cobie Smulders Thread

She talks like a robot in Avengers

Sir - we - have - to

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Old 02-21-2014, 12:21 AM   #192
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Default Re: The Official Maria Hill/Cobie Smulders Thread

I didn't mind Smulders in Avengers but definitely agree that Morena Baccarin would've been awesome. How did Whedon miss that casting especially when he's worked with Baccarin before?

Baccarin's character in V gives a really good idea of how she could've played Agent Hill, which would've been fantastic, and she naturally projects far more confidence, intensity, & leadership than Smulders ever could....

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Old 04-06-2014, 02:23 AM   #193
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Default Re: The Official Maria Hill/Cobie Smulders Thread

Eh, I can't see Baccarin as Maria Hill, even if she's had the hairdo. Cobie Smulders has definitely clinched the role for me.

Speaking of which, Hill wasn't in much of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but she was made the most of the little screentime she had and kicked a lot of ass. I wish she had more to do there. SHIELD may be gone, but I personally wouldn't mind a separate movie for the more spy-fiction characters in the MCU (Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Maria Hill among others) to get more exposure.

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Old 04-06-2014, 08:00 AM   #194
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Default Re: The Official Maria Hill/Cobie Smulders Thread

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On his commentary for Buffy season 5, episode 16 "The Body" he talks about how he made a mistake by putting the character of Joyce in the kitchen at the beginning of a dinner scene when he should have had her coming back and taking dishes away so as to have her be a constant presence in all the characters' lives. Unfortunately, he didn't realize this until after the episode had already aired.
There are no flaws with Buffy episode 5x16 "The Body". It might be the greatest episode of television ever made.

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Old 04-11-2014, 05:28 AM   #195
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Default Re: The Official Maria Hill/Cobie Smulders Thread

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There are no flaws with Buffy episode 5x16 "The Body". It might be the greatest episode of television ever made.
Just reading that post had me going back to watch the episode. My friend called at the end and I was crying and had to explain it was because someone posted about it on the internet. Her reply was basically a snarky, "well then, you couldn't not watch it could you?"

No. Never really even occurred to me as an option.

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Old 04-11-2014, 09:44 AM   #196
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Default Re: The Official Maria Hill/Cobie Smulders Thread

There's no chance of recasting Maria Hill now. Cobie has already popped up on Agents of SHIELD and in CA:TWS, and is also in a future episode of AOS again. I don't remember if she's in A:AOU.

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