Netflix announced Tuesday that it has acquired all of the works of famous children’s author Roald Dahl, creator of classics such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda. The streaming giant said it bought The Roald Dahl Story Company – the family business that owns the copyright to the late British author.
Netflix in 2018 signed a deal with the company to create an animated series based on 16 Dahl books.
“This acquisition builds on the partnership we started three years ago to build a roster of animated TV series,” said Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos and Luke Kelly, CEO of RDSC and grandson of Dahl, in a joint statement.
We’re excited to announce that the Roald Dahl Story Company (RDSC) and Netflix are joining forces to bring some of the world’s most beloved stories to current and future fans in creative ways.
“We are now about to visit the most wonderful places and see the most wonderful things.” pic.twitter.com/NIiBeStJm2
– Netflix (@netflix) September 22, 2021
As part of the previous deal, Oscar-winning filmmaker Taika Waititi and Zootropolis screenwriter Phil Johnston are working on a series based on the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and an adaptation of Matilda the Musical is in the works.
“These projects opened our eyes to a much more ambitious endeavor – the creation of a unique universe through animated and live action films and television, publishing, games, immersive experiences, live theater, consumer products and more, ”Netflix said.
Dahl died in 1990 at the age of 74 after writing several classic titles including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Matilda, The Twits, The Witches and The BFG.
His books have been translated into 63 languages and sold over 300 million copies worldwide.
“These stories and their messages about the power and possibilities of young people have never been more relevant,” the statement said.
“As we present these timeless tales to more audiences in new formats, we are committed to maintaining their unique spirit and universal themes of surprise and cuteness, while sprinkling new magic into the mix.”
No financial details of the deal were given.
The Hollywood Reporter in 2018 quoted sources as saying that the licensing deal covering just Dahl’s 16 pounds cost Netflix more than $ 100 million (around Rs. 740 crore).
Several works by Dahl have already been adapted for the big screen, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches, Fantastic Mr Fox and The BFG.