An all-new trailer for the upcoming Netflix animated TV show Carmen Sandiego has hit the internet, revealing a bit more about the elusive thief and the direction of the show. The series is slated to premiere on the streaming giant later this month. As a character, Carmen Sandiego goes all the way back to a 1985 computer game that helped educate kids about geography and historical information through puzzles and logic exercises.
In the game, Carmen Sandiego is a master thief who travels the world leaving clues as to her whereabouts, yet somehow always escapes. This general framework was then adapted into a family game show in 1991 called Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? Hosted by Greg Lee, the show featured contestants as junior detectives of the ACME Detective Agency who had to answer geography questions to try and capture the thief. The game show was subsequently followed by the Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? cartoon in 1994, in which the titular character plays an elaborate game of cat and mouse with teen ACME detectives, Zack and Ivy. Up to this point, all we’ve known about the new series is that it will follow the adventures of the legendary character in some form or another.
Now, thanks to an official trailer from Netflix, we’re granted a sneak peek at the world’s most recognizable thief and the past that made her who she is. Sporting an updated take on the classic theme song, the trailer reveals that Carmen Sandiego originally went to the V.I.L.E. Training Academy for Thieves (“crime school”) where she was the best in her class. While it’s made clear that once you become a thief “there’s no going back,” the character’s voiceover suggests a bit of a change of heart as she says, “I realized stealing isn’t a game. It does harm people. Especially when you’re willing to steal lives.” It’s at this turn that the iconic woman in red decides she’s going to try and secure valuable artifacts that V.I.L.E. might go after by stealing them first.
The new series appears to be casting the character as a hero of sorts, positioning her as a thief who only steals from other thieves. Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez will voice Carmen Sandiego, while Stranger Things actor Finn Wolfhard will voice a character known as ‘Player.’ Rodriguez is also set to reprise the Carmen Sandiego role in the live-action movie that is being developed at Netflix, and Game Night writer Mark Perez has been tapped to pen the script.
The somewhat ‘prequel’ approach to the character’s story that Netflix is taking offers a ton of potential to explore more of the ‘who’ rather than just the typical ‘where’ is Carmen Sandiego. While it seems they’ve maintained many of the core elements from the original show, it’ll be interesting to see if there’s enough material to support an entire new series and movie.
Carmen Sandiego premieres Friday, January 18 on Netflix.