Back in 2018, it was announced that actress Gina Rodriguez will be appearing in a live-action Netflix movie based on the popular edutainment figure Carmen Sandiego. What we got instead was a couple of seasons of an animated Carmen Sandiego show where the actress voiced the lead character, with a third season on the way. Now, a live-action project is back on the table, and Rodriguez reveals the film is going to be an origin story.
“Duane [Capizzi] who did the animation … is a brilliant man and did such a phenomenal job at creating this world because, I mean, I grew up with Carmen Sandiego and it was mostly the PBS game, and it was mostly the computer game, but you didn’t really know anything about her. So Duane created this entire incredibly intertwined beautiful story with backstory and all that, and so with the live-action, ideally, we would be able to create multiple films.”
“But to bring in this first film, it is really imperative to us to create this iconic character that we loved, right? That we didn’t know much about and give her a really solid story that we all fall in love with. So that’s the unique challenge that we are working on, but I’m really excited and hopeful because it’s coming together great.”
Gina Rodriguez makes it clear that the plan is for a live-action franchise revolving around the character of Carmen Sandiego, and an origin movie is a good way to get the ball rolling. You don’t get to Avengers: Endgame without starting out with Thor and Iron Man first.
Carmen Sandiego first appeared in the 1985 classic game Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?. The game introduced the world to the antics of the red-coat wearing titular heroine and former spy, who masterminded a series of daring robberies with her crew. It was up to the players to stop and apprehend Sandiego by deciphering a number of clues and puzzles and making strategic decisions to nab the criminal gang.
The character of Carmen Sandiego proved very popular with her young audience, and a number of spinoff games, comics, and animated shows were created to mine her popularity.
The latest Netflix animation where Rodriguez voices Sandiego puts a modern spin on the character of the master thief. This time around, Sandiego is portrayed as a Robin Hood of sorts, who steals from evil organizations to give money back to the needy. Aside from her traditional role as the leader of a daring gang of robbers, a new angle was added to the character’s backstory that involved being abandoned by her parents as a baby, finding out that her mother is still alive, and resolving to track her down.
Considering Hollywood’s renewed interest in female-led blockbusters, the series of Carmen Sandiego movies for a younger audience being planned by the team behind the Netflix animation could prove to be quite popular and cater to a demographic that the film industry has largely forgotten. This news comes from Collider.