Cobie Smulders Is Back In The MCU As Maria Hill In The Upcoming Marvel Series Secret Invasion

Marvel's "Secret Invasion" series on Disney+ has one more familiar face to add to its roster, though familiar faces are particularly suspect when anyone could be a shape-shifting Skrull. According to Variety, "How I Met Your Mother" star Cobie Smulders is set to reprise the character of S.H.E.I.L.D. agent Maria Hill for the streaming series, joining Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. 

A Chance for Smulders to Shine

Fans last saw Hill and Fury in "Spiderman: Far From Home," where the post-credits sequence revealed that the version of Fury that Tom Holland's Peter Parker had been interacting with the whole time wasn't Fury at all, but a Skrull copy. The real Nick Fury was in outer space, enjoying what looked like the world's weirdest space-cation, complete with digital beaches. We never found out if Hill was a Skrull in "Far From Home," however, so there are some pretty big questions regarding her post-"Endgame" existence before the events of "Secret Invasion." Did she know Fury had been replaced with a Skrull if she hadn't herself? If not, does that mean no one has a clue where Fury really is? 

One of the bigger bummers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that Smulders has been woefully underutilized. She was relatable and hilarious as Robin on "How I Met Your Mother," but in the MCU she's a stiff, one-note bureaucrat who only exists so Fury has someone to disagree with. The other Disney+ Marvel series, like "WandaVision" and "Falcon and the Winter Soldier," have given some of the less prominent characters a chance to shine, so here's hoping that "Secret Invasion" gives Hill more to do than stand around and look stern. 

What We Know About Secret Invasion

The extraterrestrial Skrulls, who can mimic the appearance of other people, made their MCU debut in "Captain Marvel" in 2019. The "Secret Invasion" will likely take cues from the Marvel comics storyline of the same name, though it won't be a direct adaptation. In addition to Jackson and Smulders, actor Ben Mendelson is returning as the Skrull named Talos. Some newcomers are joining the MCU in mystery roles, including Emilia Clarke from "Game of Thrones," Olivia Colman from "The Crown," Killian Scott from "Love/Hate," Kinglsey Ben-Adir from "One Night in Miami," and Christopher McDonald from "Happy Gilmore." 

"Mr. Robot" writer and executive producer Kyle Bradstreet is the series creator and will also serve as executive producer and head writer. The episodes will be directed by Thomas Bezucha ("Let Him Go") and Ali Selim ("The Looming Tower"). The series is likely to debut sometime in 2022, streaming exclusively on Disney+.