Dahl’s books have been translated into 63 languages and sold more than 300m copies worldwide.
Netflix has acquired the entire works of British children’s author Roald Dahl, creator of classics such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG and Matilda.
In 2018, Netflix signed a deal to create animated series based on 16 Dahl books. But now the streaming giant said it had bought Roald Dahl Story Company, the family firm that owns the late British author’s copyright.
As part of that deal, Taika Waititi and Oscar nominee Phil Johnston are currently working on a series based on the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, while Sony and Working Title are putting together an adaptation of Matilda the Musical.
RDSC will function as an autonomous unity within Netflix and expand on the plans currently in place for 19 TV shows, films, stage shows and live experiences.
“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,” Netflix said.
Dahl’s books have been translated into 63 languages and sold more than 300m copies worldwide, inhabited by popular characters such as Matilda, The BFG, Fantastic Mr Fox, Willy Wonka and The Twits.
In a joint statement, Netflix co-chief executive Ted Sarandos and Luke Kelly, RDSC managing director and Dahl’s grandson said: “This acquisition builds on the partnership we started three years ago to create a slate of animated TV series. 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. We want to say a huge thank you to all the people who have contributed to this great story so far. Looking ahead, we’re excited to continue the close working relationships established by RDSC with existing rights holders, publishing, theatre and entertainment partners, and many others to protect and grow the great legacy of these beloved stories. Netflix and The Roald Dahl Story Company share a deep love of storytelling and a growing, global fan base. Together, we have an extraordinary opportunity to write multiple new chapters of these beloved stories, delighting children and adults around the world for generations to come.”