Netflix has acquired the Roald Dahl Story Company, obtaining rights to various popular characters, including Matilda, The BFG, Fantastic Mr Fox, Willy Wonka and The Twits. The terms of the deal currents await approval in order to be considered final. “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 loved stories to current and future fans in creative new ways,” Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos said.
In hopes of creating a “unique universe” based on the IP in the library across animated and live-action films and TV, publishing, games, immersive experiences, live theatre and consumer products, the streamer continues to strengthen its 3-year partnership with RDSC and its slate of animated TV series based on Dahl IP. “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,” MD Luke Kelly, tasked with leading RSDC, and Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos, said in a joint statement shortly after announcing the deal.
Currently consisting of 19 TV shows, films, stage shows and live events, including “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory” and an adaptation of “Matilda The Musical with Sony,” the slate’s worth amount to over $1 billion. The company seeks to continue expanding its partnership with RDSC and its existing rights holders, publishing, theatre and entertainment partners.
The RSDC 26 full-time employees across eight departments, including theatre, entertainment, licensing, publishing, marketing, finance and operations and design. Dahl’s books have been translated into 63 languages and sold more than 300 million copies worldwide. The company in turn intends to use “a significant part” of the proceeds from the sale to establish charitable trust that will help expand charity efforts for children’s health, as well as the fight against hate and racism.
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.” Luke Kelly, Ted Sarandos Head of RSDC, Co-CEO, Chief Content Office, Netflix