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People in Mexico City only got to see a partial solar eclipse today. But the huge metropolis is bracing for a different phenomenon. Godzilla has descended on the city, threatening to destroy it over the next two days or at least cause some major traffic problems. NPR's Carrie Kahn reports that fans and local officials are thrilled that the giant monster has landed in Mexico City, boosting the city's reputation as a growing international film destination.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELLS RINGING)
CARRIE KAHN, BYLINE: As the bells ring out from the majestic cathedral in Mexico City's downtown Zocalo plaza, a huge plume of smoke rises in the sky down the street. Crews there are filming a critical scene in the sequel to the sci-fi thriller, "Godzilla 2: King Of The Monsters."
GERMAN CASTILLO: (Speaking Spanish).
KAHN: "We better run and hide, or we'll all get eaten," says German Castillo, who couldn't see the filming over a huge makeshift wall of the large police vehicles blocking the street in front of the action.
CASTILLO: (Speaking Spanish).
KAHN: Not discouraged by the barriers, Castillo jokes that Godzilla is going to fill up fast with some of the more robust Mexicans like himself as he laughs and rubs his round belly. There are a few disgruntled store owners upset about closed-off streets and traffic. But most everyone is thrilled Godzilla has come to town, like 17-year-old Fernando Duran.
FERNANDO DURAN: (Speaking Spanish).
KAHN: "Except he can't see anything," he says, "just reporters out on the street in front of the action."
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Speaking Spanish).
KAHN: Like this local TV personality warning the curious to stay away. "Sadly," she said, "Godzilla won't make any personal appearances. He'll be added later in post-production with the aid of computers." No problem, says Duran. He'll wait to see "Godzilla" in the movie theaters.
DURAN: (Speaking Spanish).
KAHN: "I'll see him fight there - just wish I knew who he was going up against." he says.
Not a whole lot is being reported about "Godzilla 2," due out in March of 2019, or who will be Godzilla's worthy opponents. There's talk about a giant moth and his three-headed nemesis, Ghidorah. Mexico City, however, put up a good fight to get Godzilla. It beat out Guatemala even with its volumes of volcanoes, a perfect setting for a radioactive pseudo-dinosaur to emerge out of. But according to the film's producer, Mexico City ruled the day thanks to its beautiful, colonial downtown, world-class production crews and, of course, all those Godzilla sci-fi fans. Carrie Kahn, NPR News, Mexico City.
(SOUNDBITE OF PRHYME SONG, "COURTESY") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.