It's well-documented fact that education was an awful, unbearable experience until the mid-'80s, when the popularization of edutainment software helped soften the blow of useful information like the location of the Eiffel Tower and how much buffalo meat a covered wagon could carry across the country being bludgeoned into children's brains by tricking them into believing they were just playing dumb video games and not actually learning things. Chief among these edutaining pieces of software was Broderbund'sCarmen Sandiego franchise, a series of history and geography lessons disguised ingeniously as a race across the country, the globe, and even time and space itself to capture a master thief with an inexplicable and perhaps poorly-considered penchant for stealing gigantic geographical landmarks that would seem extremely difficult to hawk on the black market.
The Carmen Sandiego series endured for years, with a wonderful PBS game show spawning out of the franchise's popularity during the '90s, as well as an animated series that produced a few lousy action adventure game spin-offs in the early 2000s. However, no film studio has yet seen fit to turn this absurd tale of a trenchcoated crazy lady stealing entire pieces of geography into a film--until now!
Presumably not content to merely have ruined Ben Affleck's movie career, Marc Anthony's anything career, American Idol (or at least what few unruined vestiges still remained), and Fiat's last remaining chances of breaking strong into the American auto market, Deadline is reporting that former Fly Girl Jennifer Lopez will apparently produce and possibly star in an upcoming film adaptation of Where In the World is Carmen Sandiego? guaranteed to ruin your fond childhood memories of the games. How do I know it will do this? Mostly because of the premise, which will reportedly play like "National Treasure meets The Thomas Crown Affair," albeit likely with a greater emphasis on puns, and less on torrid sexual encounters between middle-aged attractive people.
So reads the film'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? The property originated as an educational computer game before it was turned into an animated TV series.
While Lopez's Puerto Rican heritage and assigned gender thus make her a viable candidate to play a woman with the last name Sandiego, I can't think of a less likable personality to slot into such a role. Fortunately, it's not a guarantee that she will, in fact, play the part, meaning there's still an outside chance that literally anyone else could take on the role. Is Rosario Dawson busy? How about Eva Mendes? Or Penelope Cruz? Is Rita Moreno still alive?
While you ponder better picks for the role of Carmen Sandiego, I'll leave you with this old school Rockapella jam, in which they searingly indict the clandestine banking system of Switzerland, an indictment made all the more relevant by the financial turmoil and class warfare of the modern era. Truly, there is no more timeless and poignant music than that of Rockapella.