Netflix buys rights to works of ‘Matilda’ author Roald Dahl


Netflix introduced Wednesday that it’s purchased Roald Dahl Story Co., buying the rights to all of the works by the kids’s author, together with “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Matilda.”

The streaming big mentioned it plans to use the catalog to create “a unique universe” that features animated and live-action movies and TV reveals, in addition to video games, stay theater and shopper merchandise.

The company declined to share how a lot it paid for the titles, which additionally embody “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “James and the Giant Peach,” and “The Twits.”

The deal comes three years after Netflix agreed to create a slate of animated TV collection primarily based on some of Dahl’s works, together with “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Matilda.”

Shares of Netflix rose barely on the information and traded 0.3 p.c increased at almost $575 per share in pre-market buying and selling.

Along with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Netflix additionally acquired the rights to “Matilda” and “James and the Giant Peach.”
Netflix introduced the acquisition on September 22,2021.
Roald Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach” was written in 1961.
Buena Vista Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

Netflix, although, could have to grapple with the sophisticated legacy of self-proclaimed anti-Semite Dahl, who died at age 74 in 1990.

“There is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity, maybe it’s a kind of lack of generosity towards non-Jews. I mean, there’s always a reason why anti-anything crops up anywhere,” Dahl mentioned in a 1983 interview with The New Statesman. “Even a stinker like Hitler didn’t just pick on them for no reason.”

In 1990, Dahl instructed The Independent: “I’m certainly anti-Israeli and I’ve become anti-Semitic in as much as that you get a Jewish person in another country like England strongly supporting Zionism.”

Roald Dahl’s “Matilda” has been already tailored right into a Broadway musical and movie.
Alamy Stock Photo
A scene from the 1996 film “Matilda” with Embeth Davidtz (left) and Mara Wilson (proper).
TriStar / courtesy Everett Collection
A model of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” starring Johnny Depp was launched in 2005.
Warner Brothers / Courtesy Everett Collection

Last year, Dahl’s household apologized for the offensive remarks.

In its Wednesday announcement of the deal, Netflix didn’t touch upon the controversy, as a substitute trumpeting that Dahl’s assortment of titles have already demonstrated broad and intergenerational attraction.

Gene Wilder starred as Willy Wonka in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” in 1971.
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

“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,” Netflix mentioned in an announcement Wednesday. “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 to the mix.”

The deal is a significant content material seize for Netflix within the crucial kids’s leisure sector, setting it up to compete with rival Disney+, which has more and more confirmed to be a formidable streaming competitor.

While Netflix stays the most important streaming service, with over 209 million world subscribers, development is slowing whereas Disney+ has made strides. Disney most not too long ago reported that its streaming service has 116 million subscribers.