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Netflix buys Roald Dahl’s works as Matilda and Willy Wonka join streaming giant’s catalog

Netflix has bought the works of Roald Dahl, including classics such as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Matilda”, in its latest content deal as the streaming service faces stiff competition from Disney+ and HBO Max.

The company did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, which will give it full access to Dahl’s works as well as animated and live action films.

The deal expands Netflix’s existing licensing agreement with The Roald Dahl Story Co to create animated series based on the author’s books.

Writer Roald Dahl in 1971.Ronald Dumont / Daily Express/Getty Images

Struck in 2018, the agreement was reported to be among the biggest ever for kids programming at that time, worth between $500 million to $1 billion, according the Hollywood Reporter.

As part of that deal, Academy Award winning director Taika Waititi is already creating on a series based on “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. Netflix is also working on an adaptation of “Matilda The Musical”.

The British author, who died in 1990 aged 74, remains popular with young readers around the world and several of his books have been turned into movies and stage shows.

His 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.

“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.”

“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,” they added.

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