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Netflix buys Roald Dahl catalog

netflix-buys-roald-dahl-catalog

Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka and Peter Ostrum as Charlie Bucket on the set of the fantasy film “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”.

Silver screen collection | Getty Images

LONDON – Netflix has acquired the entire catalog from Roald Dahl, the popular children’s author best known for such works as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Matilda”.

The US streaming giant announced on Wednesday that it has bought the Roald Dahl Story Company, which manages the rights to the British writer’s characters and stories. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“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 popular stories to current and future fans in creative new ways,” Netflix said in a tweet in presented with a candy bar to reveal a golden ticket relating to the book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.

It comes three years after Netflix signed a contract to create a range of new animation productions based on Dahl’s work, including “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “Matilda” and “The BFG”.

Several of Dahl’s works have already been adapted in films that have received worldwide acclaim, from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” from 1971 with Gene Wilder to “Fantastic Mr. Fox” from 2009. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” The remake of the classic movie starring Johnny Depp was a huge box-office hit and grossed $ 475 million.

Netflix, who had previously worked on a series based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and an adaptation of Matilda The Musical, said, “These projects opened our eyes to a much more ambitious company – creating a unique one Universe animated and live action. “

“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 wowing generations of children and adults,” Netflix said in a statement Wednesday . “These stories and their messages about the power and opportunities of young people have never felt so relevant.”

“As we bring these timeless stories to a wider audience in new formats, we strive to preserve their unique spirit and universal themes of surprise and friendliness while adding some fresh magic to the mix.”

It’s one of the biggest content grabs for Netflix, which has invested heavily in original content and intellectual property to maintain its lead over older media companies.

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

Although Dahl is one of the UK’s most famous authors, his works have recently been viewed in a different light due to concerns about his anti-Semitic views. Dahl has also been criticized for misogynist and racist portrayals of some of his characters.

In 2018, Britain’s Royal Mint rejected plans to commemorate Dahl’s life with a commemorative coin, as he was linked to anti-Semitism.

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

“These biased statements are incomprehensible to us and are in clear contrast to the man we knew and the values ​​on which the stories of Roald Dahl are based, which have positively influenced young people for generations,” the company said at the time.

“We hope that Roald Dahl, as he did in his best and absolute worst, can help us remember the lasting effects of words.”

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