Netflix buys Roald Dahl's books (all of 'em) to make new TV, movies and more

Welcome to the Dahl-verse, kids!

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka

Gene Wilder in the 1971 Roald Dahl adaptation Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

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Netflix has bought the rights to the stories of Roald Dahl. With new versions of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda already in the works, the streaming service can mine the legendary British author's back catalog of children's classics like Fantastic Mr. Fox, James and the Giant Peach, The Twits and The BFG, which have sold more than 300 million copies worldwide.

Netflix boss Ted Sarandos said in a blog post that the goal was to create a "unique universe across animated and live action films and TV, publishing, games, immersive experiences, live theatre, consumer products and more." Shall we call it the Dahl-verse, or does Wonka-verse work better?

Netflix was inspired to go the whole hog after signing a deal to produce new versions of some of Dahl's stories, including a movie version of smash hit musical Matilda and a TV series based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory from Taika Waititi and Wreck-It Ralph writer Phil Johnston. Netflix hasn't said how much it paid for the Roald Dahl Story Company, but it's reported to be the deep-pocketed streaming company's biggest acquisition yet

It's unclear what this deal means for the 19(!) projects in development via the Roald Dahl Story Company, such as the Willy Wonka prequel filming with Timothée Chalamet as the idiosyncratic chocolatier. 

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