Netflix buys Roald Dahl catalog

Netflix buys Roald Dahl catalog

Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka and Peter Ostrom as Charlie Buckett on the set of the fantasy movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”.

Silver Screen Collection | Getty Images

LONDON – Netflix has acquired the complete roster of beloved children’s author Roald Dahl, known for such works as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Matilda”.

The American streaming giant announced Wednesday that it had acquired the Roald Dahl Story Company, which manages the rights to the characters and stories of the British novelist. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Netflix said in a tweet: “It is pleased to announce that the Roald Dahl Story Company (RDSC) and Netflix have joined forces to bring some of the world’s most beloved stories to current and future fans in creative and innovative ways. ” occur. Unwrapped to reveal a golden stamp, a reference to the book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.

It comes three years after Netflix signed an agreement to create a roster of new animated productions based on Dahl’s works, including “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “Matilda” and “The BFG”.

Many of Dahl’s works have already been adapted for film and have received worldwide acclaim, from 1971’s “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” to “Fantastic Mr. Fox” 2009. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, a remake classic film starring Johnny Depp, was a huge hit, earning $ 475 million at the box office.

Netflix, which was already working on a series based on ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and an adaptation of ‘Mathilde the Musical’, said: “These projects have opened our eyes to a much more ambitious endeavor. – Create a unique universe. Animated and live action.

Netflix said in a statement, “Roald Dahl’s books have been translated into 63 languages ​​and sold over 300 million copies worldwide, featuring characters such as Matilda, The BFG, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Willy Wonka and The Twits. With generations of children and adults have been delighted. Wednesday. “These stories and their messages about the power and possibility of young people have never been more relevant.”

“As we present these timeless stories to more audiences in new formats, we are committed to maintaining their unique spirit and universal themes of wonder and cuteness, while adding new magic to the mix. “

This is one of the biggest challenges for Netflix, which is investing heavily in original content and intellectual property to maintain its edge over traditional media companies.

Disney has proven to be a formidable competitor to Netflix, with 116 million people now subscribing to its Disney + streaming service. Netflix remains the largest player with over 209 million paying members worldwide.

While Dahl is one of Britain’s best-known writers, his works have recently been seen in a different light amid concerns over his anti-Semitic views. Dahl has also been criticized for his inaccurate and racist portrayals of some of his characters.

In 2018, the UK Royal Mint rejected plans to commemorate Dahl’s life with a commemorative coin due to his association with anti-Semitism.

Last year, the Roald Dahl Story Company apologized for the author’s anti-Semitic statements.

The company said at the time: “These damaging comments are incomprehensible to us and run counter to the core values ​​of the person we have known and the stories of Roald Dahl, which have positively influenced young people for generations. “

“We hope that, as he did at best, at worst, Roald Dahl can remind us of the lasting impact of words.”

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