Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka and Peter Ostrom as Charlie Bucket on the set of the fantasy film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
silver screen set | fake photos
LONDON – Netflix has acquired the entire catalog of beloved children’s author Roald Dahl known for his works such as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Matilda”.
The giant American broadcasting company announced, on Wednesday, that it had bought the Roald Dale Story Company, which manages the rights to the characters and stories of the British novelist. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We’re excited to announce that The Roald Dahl Story Company (RDSC) and Netflix are collaborating to bring some of the world’s most beloved stories to current and future fans in new and innovative ways,” Netflix said in a statement. Bio, which included a chocolate bar unwrapped to reveal a gold ticket, references the book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
The move comes three years after Netflix signed an agreement to create a slate of new animation productions based on Dahl’s work, including “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Matilda” and “The BFG.”
Many of Dahl’s work has already been adapted into internationally acclaimed films, such as the 1971 movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” starring Gene Wilder, and Fantastic Mr. Fox of 2009. From the classic movie starring Johnny Depp, it was a huge box office hit, grossing $475 million.
Netflix, which was already working on a series based on “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and adapted from “Matilda The Musical,” said that “these projects opened our eyes to an even more ambitious mission: to create a world unique in the whole world.” Movies, TV, live and animated movies, publications, games, immersive experiences, live theater, consumer products and more.
Roald Dahl’s books have been translated into 63 languages and have sold over 300 million copies worldwide, with characters like Matilda, BFG, Fantastic Mr. Ted, co-CEO of Netflix. Sarandos and Luke Kelly, grandson of Roald Dahl and CEO of Roald Dahl Story Company, in a joint statement. “These stories and their messages about the power and potential of youth have never felt more relevant.”
“As we bring these timeless tales to more audiences in new formats, we are committed to preserving their unique spirit and universal themes of surprise and kindness, while infusing some new magic into the mix.”
The acquisition marks one of the largest content acquisitions for Netflix, which has invested heavily in original content and intellectual property in an effort to maintain its leadership over legacy media companies.
Disney has proven to be a formidable competitor, with 116 million people now subscribing to the Disney+ streaming service. AT&T’s HBO Max subscribers exceeded 67 million worldwide at the end of June. Netflix remains the biggest player, with over 209 million paying members worldwide.
While Dahl is one of Britain’s best-known authors, his work has been seen in a different light recently amid concerns about his anti-Semitic views. Dahl, who died in 1990, has also been criticized for portraying some of his characters as misogynistic and racist.
In 2018, the United Kingdom’s Royal Mint rejected plans to commemorate Dahl’s life with a commemorative coin due to its association with anti-Semitism.
Last year, the Roald Dahl Story Company issued an apology for the writer’s story for his anti-Semitic statements.
“These biased comments are incomprehensible to us and are in stark contrast to the man we interviewed and the values at the core of Roald Dahl’s stories, which have positively impacted young people for generations,” the company said at the time.
“We hope, as he did in his prime, at his worst, that Roald Dahl will help us remember the lasting effect of words.”