The fall television season is officially in full swing with this week of 1,000 premieres (ok, maybe not quite that many). So far this fall Austin has seen Rick Perry take to the dance floor and a young Austinite compete on Food Network. Tonight we get to see another Austinite added to the fall 2016 roster as Gabriel Luna receives the Ghost Rider torch in his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut on “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.”
Luna will play a different iteration of Ghost Rider than Nicolas Cage’s version (Johnny Blaze). Luna’s Robbie Reyes will patrol the streets in a muscle car instead of a chopper, and he’s had a tougher life than other versions of the supernatural superhero, according to ComicBook.com. As long as the show character sticks to the comic books, we expect most of the same Ghost Rider superpowers to still come through for Reyes though — a nearly indestructible body, incredible strength, the ability to manifest and control chains that end in knives, and supernatural control of his vehicle.
According to Wikipedia, Luna is a born and raised Austinite. He attended St. Edward’s University, where he had the opportunity to make his stage debut playing Romeo Montague in a production of Romeo and Juliet. Luna has enjoyed a successful career since graduating in 2005, including working with quintessential Austin directors like Richard Linklater (as Kevin in Bernie) and Robert Rodriguez (as Tony Bravo in the El Rey series “Matador”).
Luna’s long time friend and fellow Austinite Valin Zamarron, aka Zeale (one of Austin’s most popular rappers and entertainers), had the opportunity to join Luna on the red carpet for the show’s season premiere on Monday in Los Angeles.
The show has a couple of other connections to Austin, as episode 5 of season 1, “The Girl in the Flower Dress,” saw the SHIELD team head to Austin to catch a hacker who sold secrets about a person with super powers to the enemy. If you tried your hardest to pick out anything at all that could help identify your city in those scenes, your efforts were completely futile. The profound lack of taco trucks and dogs on leashes may have tipped you off that while the show was smart to use the ever-so-trendy Austin as a location to mention, no filming was actually done in our town. All of the scenes were shot on the streets of Culver City, California, according to Seeing Stars. Bummer we didn’t get any production money out of the deal, but the shout out was nice.
Yeah, that’s definitely not 5th Street, and there’s almost no chance the suspect would’ve gotten parking that close to his “Internet cafe.” That’s also not a Cap Metro bus, but the “gridlock protocol” rings a little too painfully true.
Show creator Joss Whedon is also a big Austin fan and has a friend/musical collaborator who lives here, which sees him visiting every now and then and doing adorable things like taking pictures with our famous murals.
You can catch Luna’s fiery performance on tonight’s debut of season 4 of the show on ABC at 9 p.m. CST.
Featured photo screenshot from YouTube