A current deal between the companies, struck in 2018, covers a slate of animated TV shows, including a series based on the world of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” from Taika Waititi and Phil Johnston. The deal has approximately $1 billion in production spend planned.
In addition, Netflix is working with Sony and Working Title on an adaptation of “Matilda The Musical.”
Netflix will now create a universe across animated and live action films and TV, publishing, games, immersive experiences, live theater, consumer products and more.
“These stories and their messages of the power and possibility of young people have never felt more pertinent,” said Ted Sarandos, co-CEO and chief content officer for Netflix, and Luke Kelly, the author’s grandson and MD of the Roald Dahl Story Company, writing in a blog post.
“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.”
All 26 employees of RDSC will retain their positions. RDSC will function as an autonomous unity within Netflix and expand on the plans currently in place for 19 TV shows, films, stage shows and live experiences.
A significant part of the proceeds from the sale will be used to set up a charitable trust, which will focus on supporting existing and new charity partners in the areas of children’s health, anti-hate and anti-racism.
Roald Dahl’s books have been translated into 63 languages and sold more than 300 million copies worldwide, inhabited by popular characters such as Matilda, The BFG, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Willy Wonka and The Twits.
“We want to say a huge thank you to all the people who have contributed to this great story so far. Looking ahead, we’re excited to continue the close working relationships established by RDSC with existing rights holders, publishing, theater and entertainment partners, and many others to protect and grow the great legacy of these beloved stories,” Sarandos and Kelly said.
“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.”