Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? is a 2003 American comedy adventure-mystery film directed by Zdenko Jágr and based on the Carmen Sandiego educational software by The Learning Company. The film stars Xuxa as Carmen Sandiego, a master criminal and the elusive nemesis of the ACME Detective Agency who performs spectacular and often impossible cases of monument theft. Lynne Thigpen portrays the Chief of the ACME Detective Agency and Robert Loggia portrays her supervisor, the General Chief.
Development for a film began in the mid-90s, but did go beyond the planning stage until PBS entered the film business in the late 1990s. Production involved the collaboration of Howard Blumenthal, the producer of the Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? game show. Filming took place in Italy, Israel, British Columbia, and Ontario in 2002.
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? was released June 2, 2003 in the United States by Samuel Goldwyn Films. It was a box office success, earning US$30.5 million. Critical reaction to the film was generally favourable; reviewers highlighted the character of Carmen Sandiego, the performances of Xuxa, Thigpen, and Loggia, and the mystery-adventure plot as strong elements. Negative reactions focused on the camp overtones of the film and some poor special effects. The film was nominated for a Academy Award for Best Production Design, and is considered to be one of the best film adaptations of video games.
Principal photography occurred in Italy, Israel, Metro Vancouver, and Ottawa. Scenes taking place in Paris were filmed at the historic Cinecittà studios in Rome, while the production crew filmed in the Colosseum for the sequence where Carmen steals the monument. Production then went to Bologna to film several scenes in Central Bologna, while the heist of the Two Towers was filmed at the Cinema Bologna Studios. The film's opening sequence set in Saudi Arabia was filmed in the Israeli Negev desert, and a scene taking place in Jerusalem was filmed in the Israeli area of the city.
Production then went to British Columbia to film at the Lions Gate Studios in North Vancouver and The Bridge Studios in Burnaby, as well as in Vancouver's Gastown and Financial District neighborhoods.