After acquiring live-action film rights to the Carmen Sandiego media franchise, Netflix is officially moving forward with a screenwriter for the project: Game Night writer Mark Perez. The movie will kickstart a brand new media universe for the character, including an animated series and a line of books.
Created in 1985 as an educational computer video game, Carmen Sandiego (or Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?) centered around the titular character, an elusive treasure-hunter who repeatedly evades capture from the righteous ACME Detective Agency, one globetrotting adventure after another. Created as an entertaining tool to help educate children (including subjects like geography, math, and history, among others), the Carmen Sandiego games eventually evolved into a book and animated television series on account of its massive popularity. Now, Netflix will adapt the series into a movie, starring Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) in the title role, as well as Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things), and has officially bought writer Mark Perez aboard to pen the screenplay. As of now, there is no director attached to the project.
Deadline reported that Perez will write the script following the success of Game Night, which he wrote. Game Night was a massive success, grossing $117 million worldwide to date, and was composed of both crime and comedy genre elements, which might explain Netflix's interest in hiring Perez for this project.
Though there have been no official details regarding Carmen Sandiego's synopsis, the series on which it's based involves a similar tone, albeit aimed at a younger audience and on a significantly larger scale. What's more is that Rodriguez will also produce the movie through her production company I Can and I Will, as well as voice the character in the animated companion series.
As for Perez, the screenwriter is no stranger to writing for a younger audience, having kickstarted his career in screenwriting by penning the screenplays for Disney-produced movies like The Country Bears and Herbie: Fully Loaded with Lindsay Lohan.
Despite the fact that Netflix has yet to reveal an official synopsis, Perez's involvement suggests it will incorporate similar (yet watered-down) elements that were present in Game Night. In that movie, Perez struck an entertaining balance between comedy and action - even finding sympathetic traits in the movie's morally complicated characters, like Kyle Chandler's character Brooks, whose misguided decisions propel the string of criminal activity that takes place throughout the course of the movie. From that alone, Perez has proven to have what it takes to adapt Carmen Sandiego as a complicated, yet potentially sympathetic character herself.