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Prepare for all the Roald Dahl remakes as Netflix acquires author’s catalog

Netflix has snapped up Dahl’s rights (Picture: ITV/REX)

Netflix has bought up the rights to legendary author Roald Dahl’s catalog, including classics like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG.

Clearly now in possession of the most golden of all tickets, it was announced today the streaming giant acquired the Roald Dahl Story Co., which manages the rights to the author’s characters and stories, meaning it will now control what happens to such tales in publishing as well as TV and film – and receive the royalties from each endeavour.

Safe to say we’re about to see a whole heap of Dahl classics on Netflix in the near future.

According to reports, the new deal brokered between Netflix and The Roald Dahl Story Company – which, Sky News has reported is worth $500million – will create various ‘spin-off games, stage shows and other live experiences’.

It also means the company previously owned by family is now a division of Netflix.

It’s the streaming company’s biggest content deal to date, with more than 300m of Dahl’s books sold over the years, and translated into 63 languages.

We’ve already seen a whole bunch of adaptations over the years (Picture: Reuters/Warners Bros)

Netflix celebrated the announcement by revealing its name on a golden ticket hidden inside a Willy Wonka chocolate bar wrapper; the back of the ticket had a line from James and the Giant Peach: ‘There is no knowing what we shall see.’

In a joint statement from Dahl’s grandson Luke Kelly and Netflix boss Ted Sarandos, they said they were ‘joining forces to bring some of the world’s most loved stories to current and future fans in creative new ways’.

A statement read: ‘These projects opened our eyes to a much more ambitious venture – the creation of a unique universe across animated and live action films and TV, publishing, games, immersive experiences, live theatre, consumer products and more.’

Kelly and Sarandos added: ‘As we bring these timeless tales to more audiences in new formats, we’re committed to maintaining their unique spirit and their universal themes of surprise and kindness, while also sprinkling some fresh magic into the mix’, adding ‘messages of the power and possibility of young people’ have ‘never felt more pertinent’.

It’s reported a ‘significant part’ of the proceeds from the sale of the company will go towards setting up a trust involved with children’s health, anti-hate and anti-racism (which follows an apology from the family last year for historic anti-Semitic comments made by Dahl, who died aged 74 in 1990).

According to reports via BBC, The Roald Dahl Story Company earned £26m revenue from the author’s work in 2019, which boasts classic stories also including Fantastic Mr Fox, The Witches and The Twits.

A previous deal between the two media companies saw it build plans in 2018 to license 16 titles with Taika Waititi working on a series of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.

A live-action feature film adaptation of stage show Matilda, directed by Matthew Warchus – and starring Emma Thompson and Lashana Lynch – will also be released in 2022.


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