Netflix announced Monday that the animated reboot Carmen Sandiego, with the title character voiced by Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez, will premiere in January 2019. A live-action Carmen Sandiego film is also on its way to the service.
The character of Carmen Sandiego first appeared in 1985, in a series of educational computer games. The original game, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, used the character to teach children about geography. Subsequent versions became more specific, and saw kids tracking Carmen Sandiego through history and space. The character became so popular she also inspired several PBS game shows, and an animated series on Fox Kids that ran from 1994 to 1999.
The news of Carmen Sandiego's January 18, 2019 premiere date came along with the first look at the series’ poster via a tweet from Netflix, which can be seen below. The latest Carmen Sandiego reboot, which has been ordered for 20 22-minute episodes, will trace the roots of the red-coated bandit to her ascension as a criminal mastermind capable of stealing jewels as well as historic monuments. The series will also feature the voice of Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard as Player, Carmen Sandiego’s accomplice. The Batman and Transformers: Prime's Duane Capizzi serves as executive producer.
The animated series is just the beginning for Carmen Sandiego on Netflix, who acquired the rights to the franchise with the intentions of making the most out of millennial nostalgia for the iconic crook who taught them about everything from the Coliseum to Imperial China. The streaming giant is also developing a live-action movie version of Carmen Sandiego. Gina Rodriguez will be reprising her role in the live-action version, and Game Night writer Mark Perez will be penning the script. Netflix also has plans to extend the rebooted franchise into a line of books. The company has previously experienced success with reboots and revivals such as Fuller House and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, so it's not hard to see why they're hoping to do the same here.
While the character of Carmen Sandiego began as one of many shadowy villains sent to thwart the players’ protagonist, she has gone on to become an iconic - if still mysterious piece of pop culture. In all the various Carmen Sandiego iterations, her backstory has never remained consistent. So, while questions surrounding the thief may still abound, Netflix might at last provide some answers with this latest animated series and movie.