The first trailer for Netflix’s Carmen Sandiego is out, and it introduces us to very different version of the master thief. Acting as an origin story for Carmen, the series reimagines the mysterious villain as a misunderstood anti-hero.
Gina Rodriguez stars in the new series as the voice of Carmen, and she’s joined by Finn Wolfhard who portrays Player, Carmen’s chief accomplice and friend. Carmen Sandiego begins airing on January 18.
Carmen Sandiego was first introduced in an educational video game series as the antagonist that you had to chase around the world while learning about geography. Although she’s the villain, the games have rarely portrayed her as a bad person. Instead, she’s usually just playfully stealing valuables for the sport of it. However, her reasoning behind it has always changed, as Carmen has retold her backstory rather differently throughout the two decades of her games, books, comics, and cartoon. This Netflix series aims to change that, by shifting into the past when Carmen was much younger and telling her origin story.
Interestingly enough, the new trailer reveals that Carmen has never been the villain the games lead players to believe. In actuality, Carmen attended a secret academy as a teen to learn how to become a master criminal, but when she discovered that committing crimes can lead to people being hurt or killed, she gave up on that dream. Instead, she resolved to become a thief of thieves who steals back from the criminals who once trained her so that she can stop the harm they cause innocent people.
Netflix found great success in 2018 with another animated series that was based off of a beloved classic female character, She-Ra, in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. Princesses of Power went on to be one of the most popular series on Netflix in 2018, so the streaming service probably hopes to recapture the same audience with Carmen Sandiego this year.