Netflix has acquired the rights to all Roald Dahl’s classic children’s stories. The landmark deal gives the streaming company access to the full catalog of works from the famed British author. This includes titles like the Boy, BFG, George’s Marvellous Medicine, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and The Witches.
According to Deadline, the deal expands on the relationship between the Roald Dahl Story Company and Netflix that began in 2018. The initial pact gave the streamer access to 16 titles for animation adaptations. As such, projects that are currently in development include Taika Waititi and Phil Johnston’s upcoming series based on the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and an adaptation of Matilda The Musical with Sony and Working Title.
In a statement, Netflix said it plans to create a universe of projects based on Roald Dahl properties across animated and live-action films and TV, publishing, games, immersive experiences, live theater, and consumer products.
In a blog post, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos expressed his enthusiasm about the deal with a quote from one of Roald Dhal’s most famous stories – James and the Giant Peach. “We are now about to visit the most marvelous places and see the most wonderful things,” he wrote referencing a conversation between Ladybird and The Centipede. “There is no knowing what we shall see!”
He added that Netflix and The Roald Dahl Story Company share a deep love of storytelling and a growing, global fan base. And with this new deal in the bag, the companies have an incredible opportunity to write several new chapters of these beloved stories. They are hopeful that the adaptations of these tales will delight children and adults around the world for generations to come.
Roald Dahl, who died at the age of 76 in 1990, was the creator of popular characters like Matilda, Willy Wonka, and The Twits. His books have sold more than 300 million copies and have been translated into 63 languages. His short stories are known for their unexpected endings, and his children’s books for their unsentimental, often darkly comic mood, featuring villainous adult enemies of the child characters.
Roald Dhal’s children’s books champion the kindhearted and feature an underlying warm sentiment, while his adult works include Tales of the Unexpected. Referred to as one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century, Dhal’s awards for contribution to literature include the 1983 World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement and the British Book Awards Children’s Author of the Year in 1990.
Moreover, his most ardent fans celebrate his life with Roald Dahl Day every September 13th. Outside of the Netflix deal, Roald Dhal’s incredible stories have already lent themselves to multiple film adaptations. On its own, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory spawned four movies that were a hit with fans, including a 2017 Tom and Jerry animation. There’s also a prequel named Wonka, set for release by Warner Bros. in 2023.