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Netflix’s Upcoming Series Gives Carmen Sandiego a Complex Origin Story

The first trailer for 'Carmen Sandiego' offers an intriguing glimpse at the backstory of the infamous thief.

Netflix released the first teaser trailer for Carmen Sandiego, a half-prequel, half-reboot animated series that is hoping to introduce a whole new generation of viewers to the infamous thief. The original series, as its title suggests, spent almost 300 episodes asking Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? However, based on the trailer, it looks like Netflix’s series will instead try to answer the question: who in the world is Carmen Sandiego? That’s right, we’re getting the elusive criminal’s backstory and if the trailer is any indication, Carmen’s motives may be more complicated than we previously thought.

The trailer begins with Carmen (voiced by Gina Rodriguez) attending the V.I.L.E. Training Academy for Thieves, where she is warned, “if you choose the path of a professional thief, there will be no turning back.” The young, mischievous Carmen quickly rises to the top of her class but, just as she is climbing the ranks of felons, she has an epiphany that changes everything.

“I realized stealing isn’t a game,” Camen says. “It does harm people, especially when you’re willing to steal lives.”

Carmen appears to learn this truth the hard way, witnessing the death of a seemingly innocent bystander during a caper gone wrong. Knowing that she can’t just walk away from the path she has chosen, Carmen instead decides to use her powers for good and begins traveling around the world to “secure any valuable artifact V.I.L.E. might exploit by stealing them.” That’s right, Carmen may be a burglar but she only burglarizes to keep items away from the truly sinister burglars.

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Of course, Carmen can’t take on V.I.L.E alone and, fortunately, she has some help in the form of Player (voiced by Stranger Thing‘s Finn Wolfhard), who is described as Carmen’s “loyal sidekick.”

Carmen Sandiego will debut on Netflix January 18, with a live-action movie (also starring Rodriguez) scheduled to be released later this year.