Netflix Closes a Deal for ‘Willy Wonka’ Author’s Complete Works

Netflix has closed a deal giving the streamer rights to the author Roald Dahl’s complete works, including titles like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. The late British novelist’s material would be a great fit for Netflix since the genre would appeal to both younger and older demographics.

This new acquisition expands Netflix’s current three-year-old partnership with Roald Dahl Story Co. giving the streamer rights to make animated shows from his work. The previous deal was said to be worth between $500 million and $1 billion, so this new, bigger deal surely carried a massive price tag.

“This acquisition builds on the partnership we started three years ago to create a slate of animated TV series. For example, Academy Award winning filmmaker Taika Waititi and Academy Award nominee Phil Johnston are now hard at work on a series based on the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In addition, we’re working with Sony and Working Title on an adaptation of Matilda The Musical,” according to the press release.

“These projects 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. Roald Dahl’s books have been translated into 63 languages and sold more than 300 million copies worldwide, with characters like Matilda, The BFG, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Willy Wonka and The Twits delighting generations of children and adults. These stories and their messages of the power and possibility of young people have never felt more pertinent.”

This is big news for the streamer since Netflix rarely makes acquisitions, especially of this scale. In the past 10 years, the company has only made less than 10 acquisitions.