Netflix has acquired the rights to the estate of Roald Dahl, the late British novelist who brought us some of the most beloved children's books of all time, with plans to create a "unique universe" of offerings based on those works. The company has purchased the Roald Dahl Story Company from the author's family and will now control titles including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Matilda, in publishing, TV, and film, reports the BBC. The Guardian reports this is Netflix's largest content deal to date. No financial details were provided.
In a statement, Dahl's grandson Luke Kelly, who previously ran RDSC, and Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said they were "joining forces to bring some of the world's most loved stories to current and future fans in creative new ways." The parties signed a 2018 deal allowing Netflix to license 16 titles (excluding Fantastic Mr. Fox and James and the Giant Peach), and "these projects opened our eyes to a much more ambitious venture—the creation of a unique universe," the statement adds, per CNN.
This universe is to include TV, animated and live action film, published works, "games, immersive experiences, live theater, consumer products and more," according to the statement. Kelly noted a portion of proceeds from the deal would be used to create a charitable trust to support children's health, and anti-hate and anti-racism causes, per the Guardian. The family publicly apologized last year for anti-Semitic comments Dahl made during his life, which ended in 1990 at the age of 74. (More on that here.)