Netflix buys Roald Dahl estate in its biggest takeover to date
Netflix has bought the Roald Dahl estate, it has been reported.
The streaming giant has made what is its biggest acquisition to date with the business that owns and manages the late children’s authors back catalogue.
Dahl, who was born in Cardiff to Norwegian parents, wrote several bestsellers including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and The BFG.
He died in 1990, and his work, which have been translated into 63 languages, have sold more than 300 million copies worldwide.
Netflix already had deal with the late author’s estate to make an animated series based on his stories for children. In 2018 the company was said to have paid a nine-figure sum for the rights to 16 of his works and has now secured a deal to buy the whole business.
In an announcement shared by Guardian media editor Jim Waterson, a spokesperson for Netflix said: “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 loved stories to current and future fans in creative new ways.
“This acquisition builds on the partnership we started three years ago to create a slate of animated TV series. For example, Academy Award winning filmmaker Taika Waititi and Academy Award nominee Phil Johnston are now hard at work on a series based on the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In addition, we’re working with Sony and Working Title on an adaptation of Matilda The Musical.
The spokesperson added: “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.
“Roald Dahl’s books have been translated into 63 languages and sold more than 300 million copies worldwide, with characters like Matilda, The BFG, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Willy Wonka and The Twits delighting generations of children and adults. These stories and their messages of the power and possibility of young people have never felt more pertinent.
“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.”