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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.’

Getty Images LONDON — The entire Roald Dahl catalogue has been acquired by the company. He is a beloved children’s author, best known for “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, and the “Matilda” series.| Getty Images

LONDON — Netflix has acquired the entire catalog of Roald Dahl, the beloved children’s author known for works including “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Matilda.”

American streaming company Netflix announced Wednesday that it had purchased the Roald Dahl Stories Company. This company owns rights to British author Roald Dahl’s stories and characters. The terms and financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

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Netflix tweeted, “Excited to announce the Roald Dal Story Company (RDSC), is joining forces with current and future viewers in creative new ways,” the deal said. It featured a Twitter image of a chocolate-covered bar that was unwrapped and revealed a golden ticket in a nod to the classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

This announcement comes just three years after Netflix announced a partnership to develop a series of animated films based upon Dahl’s work, such as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” Matilda and “The BFG.”

Many Dahl works have already been adapt into animated movies, ranging from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” in 1971 starring Gene Wilder up to “Fantastic Mr. Fox. The remake of the movie “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” starring Johnny Depp was hugely successful at the box office, earning $475 millions.

Netflix, which had already been working 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 venture — the creation of a unique universe across animated and live action.”

Netflix stated Wednesday that Roald Dahl books had been translated in to 63 different languages. The series sold more than 300,000,000 copies globally. Characters like Matilda (The BFG), Fantastic Mr. Fox or Willy Wonka have delighted generations of children as well as adults. These stories, and the messages they convey about young people’s power and potential have never been more relevant.

As we share these timeless stories with more people in new formats, our commitment is to keeping their spirit, their universal themes and surprising and kind natures intact, and adding some magic.

In an effort to retain its position as the dominant media company, Netflix has made this one of its biggest content acquisitions. It is investing in new content and intellectual property.

Disney has been a powerful competitor to Netflix with over 116 millions people currently subscribed to the Disney+ streaming service. Netflix continues to be the biggest player with more than 209 millions paid members around the world.

His works are well-known in Britain, but they have been criticized for his antisemitic views. Dahl’s misogynistic portrayal of certain characters has been criticised.

Due to Dahl’s association with anti-Semitism, the U.K. Royal Mint turned down plans to honor Dahl with a commemorative currency in 2018.

Last year, the Roald Dahl Story Company issued an apology over the writer’s history of anti-Semitic statements.

The company stated that “these prejudiced comments are incomprehensible for us and stand in marked contrast with the man we knew” and the principles at the core of Roald Dahl stories, which had positively impacted young children for generations.”

“We hope that, just as he did at his best, at his absolute worst, Roald Dahl can help remind us of the lasting impact of words.”