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Netflix ramps up roster with Roald Dahl Story Company acquisition

Netflix has landed itself a golden ticket, acquiring the rights to Roald Dahl’s books from the author’s estate.

The takeover of The Roald Dahl Story Company – which is run by Luke Kelly, Roald’s grandson – means it will now become a division of the streaming giant.

A joint statement from Luke and Ted Sarandos, co ceo and chief content officer at Netflix, said that the acquisition built on the partnership to create a slate of animated TV series which started three years ago.

A series based on the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is currently in the pipeline, while Netflix is also working with Sony and Working Title on an adaptation of Matilda the Musical.

The joint statement said: “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.”

It continued: “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.

“There is a moment in James and the Giant Peach when the Ladybird says: “We are now about to visit the most marvellous places and see the most wonderful things!”. The Centipede replies, “there is no knowing what we shall see!”. 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.”

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