Netflix buys up Roald Dahl's back catalogue in record deal

ITV News Correspondent Rebecca Barry reports on Netflix buying the rights to Roald Dahl's books

Netflix has bought the rights to Roald Dahl's celebrated children's books from the late author's family in what is the biggest deal in the streaming giant's history.

It means the company will now own classics like "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", "Matilda" and "The Witches" and paves the way for all of the author's back catalogue to be brought to life on screen.

Roald Dahl Credit: PA

Netflix will also now control what happens to the books in publishing as well as TV and film - and receive the royalties. It also opens up the opportunity to develop characters, create spin-offs, and merchandise. The company did not disclose the size of the transaction.

In a joint statement Netflix and the Roald Dahl Story Co. - which is run by the author's grandson - said they were "joining forces to bring some of the world's most loved stories to current and future fans in creative new ways".

Both companies also stressed that they would stay true the stories' "unique spirit" and their "universal themes of surprise and kindness, while also sprinkling some fresh magic into the mix".

The acquisition builds on a previous partnership struck with the Roald Dahl Story Co. in 2018 to create animated series of some of his work. Under that “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is getting a reboot by Academy Award winning filmmaker Taika Waititi and Netflix is working with Sony on an adaptation of “Matilda the Musical".

Roald Dahl died in 1990 at the age of 74 but his books, which also include “The BFG,” “The Twits” and “Fantastic Mr Fox,” remain popular with young readers, with more than 300 million copies sold worldwide and translations in 63 languages.

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