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Netflix snaps up works of Roald Dahl

By Abigail Townsend

Date: Wednesday 22 Sep 2021

Netflix snaps up works of Roald Dahl

(Sharecast News) - Netflix has secured the rights to the work of children's favourite Roald Dahl, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and the Big Friendly Giant.
The US streaming giant said it was "joining forces" with the Roald Dahl Story Company, which manages the late author's estate, to create a "unique universe across animated and live action films and TV, publishing, games, immersive experience, live theatre, consumer products and more".

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

It builds on a licensing deal struck three years ago between Netflix and RDSC to create a series of animated TV series, including a version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by film maker Taika Waititi.

When that was struck in 2018, Netflix's total production budget under the deal was reported to be between $500m and $1bn. Netflix said this deal had "opened our eyes to a much more ambitious venture".

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, called the acquisition of RDSC a "breakthrough moment" for Netflix similar to Disney's purchase of the Star Wars franchise in 2012.

"It has now got its hands on a rich library of weird and wonderful characters, meaning it can create spin off shows, remake films of the most popular books and sweat the assets even further.

"Disney's purchase of the Star Wars empire raised eyebrows at the time but it has perfectly demonstrated how strong intellectual property can be used to create a multitude of content. The Roald Dahl acquisition is Netflix's chance to do the same.

"So many parents subscribe to Disney+ because it has content that their children will watch over and over again. Netflix now has its own must-watch content and importantly it is evergreen material: people young and old love these stories, and that should strengthen loyalty to the Netflix platform."

Shares in Netflix were largely flat in pre-market trading.

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