'Jack the Giant Killer' Writer Tackling 'Carmen Sandiego' (Exclusive)

Carmen Sandiego Logo - H 2012
<p>Carmen Sandiego Logo - H 2012</p>
Darren Lemke will pen the big-screen adaptation, which is being produced by Jennifer Lopez.

Darren Lemke, who worked on Shrek Forever After as well as Bryan Singer’s upcoming Jack the Giant Killer, has been tapped to pen the big-screen version of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Walden Media picked up the rights to the educational computer game-turned-cartoon from Houghton Mifflin in the fall of 2011. Jennifer Lopez is one of the producers and eyeing it as a starring vehicle.

Also producing are Benny Medina and Simon Fields, Lopez’s partners at Nuyorican Productions as well as Underground’s Nick Osbourne, Trevor Engelson and Devin Andre.

The story of the geographically-inclined game centers on Carmen Sandiego, the greatest detective at the ACME agency. When she becomes the world’s greatest thief, it’s up to her former partner to follow her clues and track her down.  But when their cat and mouse game leads to a bigger mystery that implicates the agency itself, the partner questions whether Carmen is a really a thief -- or a hero. 

Walden svp development & production Evan Turner and Walden CEO Michael Bostick are overseeing the project, which Walden sees as being a cross between Thomas Crown Affair and National Treasure.

Walden is hoping to capitalize on the character’s popularity and multi-generational awareness. She was introduced in 1985 as an educational software tool, evolving into computer games and programs, winning 90 awards and now used as a teaching tool in elementary schools all over the country. The three Sandiego TV series have won a Peabody and an Emmy.

Lemke is one of the town’s go-to scribes for family films. In addition to the Giant Killer spec and Shrek, he worked on Turbo, DreamWorks Animation’s currently-in-production feature, and earlier this year tackled Goosebumps, based on the R.L. Stein books, for Columbia.

He is repped by UTA and Loeb and Loeb.