Carmen Sandiego, the globe-trotting red-clad master thief who “put the ‘mis’ in misdemeanor,” looks to be finally making the jump to the big screen. Walden Media has acquired the screen rights to a live-action film adaptation of the Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? brand name, which will be produced by musician/actress Jennifer Lopez.
Walden is reportedly also developing the project as a starring vehicle for Miss Lopez – though, for the time being, she is attached to only produce, not headline, the flick.
Deadline says the Carmen Sandiego movie is being designed as “‘National Treasure’ meets ‘The Thomas Crown Affair'” – as is additionally indicated by the project’s logline:
When the ACME agency’s greatest detective Carmen Sandiego becomes the world’s greatest thief, it’s up to her former partner to follow her clues and track her down. Their cat-and-mouse game leads the partner to confront a greater mystery: Is Carmen really a thief or a hero?
Carmen Sandiego originated as kid-friendly educational computer game series developed during the mid-1980s. The property eventually spawned multiple book and TV spinoffs, including the Peabody award-winning PBS game show Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? – a series which ran from 1991-96 and featured vocal group Rockapella’s iconic Carmen Sandiego theme song – as well as a second PBS game show incarnation titled Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? and a Fox Saturday morning cartoon series called Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?
Lopez certainly has the screen presence and attitude to make for a sophisticated (and saucy) real-life version of Carmen Sandiego… more so (arguably) than Sandra Bullock, who was long being eyed to star in a Disney-produced film adaptation of the character, back in the 1990s. While Lopez hasn’t done much but appear in forgettable rom-coms over the past decade, it would be cool to see her return to the sort of strong female roles she handled well in films like Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight and Tarsem Singh’s The Cell, back in the late ’90s/early 2000s.
A Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? movie would indeed probably bear a closer resemblance to the family-friendly tone of the National Treasure movies – and less like that of other geography-jumping adventure properties, be it the Indiana Jones franchise or a spy games series like Mission: Impossible and James Bond. Take that as you will.
We will keep you posted on the status of the Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? movie as the story develops.
“Carmen Sandiego” header image artwork by ~pownage on deviantart