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22 Oct 2021 10:44
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  •   Home > News > International

    Netflix buys Roald Dahl Story Company, securing rights to British author's works

    Netflix buys the Roald Dahl Story Company, giving the streamer access to some of the most valuable intellectual property in the world of children's entertainment.


    If you (or your kids) love the stories of children's author Roald Dahl, you're in luck — you're going to be seeing a lot more of them on your screens.

    Netflix has bought the Roald Dahl Story Company (RDSC), giving the streamer access to some of the most valuable intellectual property in the world of children's entertainment.

    Netflix will now be the home of any future adaptations of stories like The BFG, The Twits, Matilda and others.

    In other words, expect new TV series, movies, and Marvel-style spin-offs involving some of the beloved characters of the British author, who died in 1990 and whose books have sold more than 300 million copies.

    Kiwi director Taika Waititi is already producing a series adaptation of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, the result of a separate licensing deal the two companies signed three years ago that was reportedly worth upwards of $US500 million.

    That project and others "opened our eyes to a much more ambitious venture — the creation of a unique universe across animated and live-action films and TV, publishing, games, immersive experiences, live theatre, consumer products and more", Netflix's Ted Sarandos and Dahl's grandson Luke Kelly, who runs RDSC, said in a statement.

    "These stories and their messages of the power and possibility of young people have never felt more pertinent.

    "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."

    The latest move in a competitive space

    It's a major deal for Netflix, the world's biggest streaming service, and it's just the latest salvo in the streaming wars.

    The company is facing strong competition from other streamers, mainly Disney+ and Amazon but also, in Australia, Stan, Binge, and new platforms like Paramount+.

    Securing this much-loved IP, with endless potential for spin-offs and new storylines, is a way to attract and keep subscribers.

    Deals like this are considered a smart business move in the entertainment world.

    Disney's purchase of Pixar, producer of Toy Story and Finding Nemo, in 2006 proved hugely profitable.

    It later bought Marvel and Lucasfilm, giving it control over a broad array of popular characters and .

    In 2017, Amazon paid $250 million for the TV rights to Lord Of The Rings, with a series due next year.

    This year it bought the rights to the Bond franchise and others in a $10 billion deal.


    ABC




    © 2021 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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