Netflix Acquires Roald Dahl Story Company, Sale Includes Catalog

Netflix has bought itself the ultimate golden ticket.

The streamer revealed Wednesday that it had acquired the Roald Dahl Story Company, bringing under its belt the vast catalog of Roald Dahl, one of the most beloved — and adapted — children’s authors of all time, whose books include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG, Fantastic Mr. Fox and many more.

Financial details weren’t disclosed. But the deal — which had been widely speculated — is believed to mark one of Netflix’s biggest purchases to date.

Netflix’s previous arrangement with the Roald Dahl Story Company — signed in 2018 and giving it the animated rights to 16 of Dahl’s titles — is believed to have been in nine-figure territory, according to sources at the time. As part of that arrangement, Taika Waititi and Oscar nominee Phil Johnston are currently working on a series based on the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, while Sony and Working Title are putting together an adaptation of Matilda The Musical.

In announcing the acquisition, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos and Luke Kelly, managing director of the Roald Dahl Story Company, said that they were now eyeing the creation of a “unique universe across animated and live-action films and TV, publishing, games, immersive experiences, live theater, consumer products and more.”

And they quoted from one of Dahl’s famous stories. “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’,” they said. “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.”

Dahl’s books have been translated into 63 languages and sold more than 300 million copies worldwide, with a new book sold every 2.6 seconds.

The Welsh author is a longtime favorite in Hollywood, film adaptations of his works include Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), Danny, the Champion of the World (1989), The BFG (1989), The Witches (1990), James and the Giant Peach (1996), Matilda (1996), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot (2015), The BFG (2016), Revolting Rhymes (2016) Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (2017), The Witches (2020) and the upcoming prequel story Wonka (2023).

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