It looks like Netflix enjoyed Willy Wonka’s chocolate so much it decided to buy the entire chocolate factory. The streaming service turned production giant has acquired the Roald Dahl Story Company, giving them screen rights to works such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG, Fantastic Mr. Fox, James and the Giant Peach, and many more classics.
The full acquisition follows three years of partnership between the two companies, under which the Roald Dahl Story Company gave Netflix access to 16 titles for animation adaptations. Current projects underway include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory series from Taika Waititi and Phil Johnston (Wreck-It Ralph, Zootopia), as well as an adaptation of Matilda The Musical from Sony.
Many of Dahl’s prominent works have received a page-to-screen adaptation, including The Gremlins, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Fantastic Mr. Fox, James And The Giant Peach, and most recently The Witches. However, the British author penned nearly 50 books, screenplays, plays, and anthologies over the course of his life, all of which Netflix now owns.
As of right now, Netflix is not shutting down other studio’s plans for Dahl adaptations. Netflix has promised to work alongside “existing rights holders,” meaning the Warner Bros.’ big screen adaptation of Chocolate Factory is safe to move forward, for now. The musical origin story, titled Wonka, is helmed by Paddington director Paul King, and stars Timothée Chalamet as a young Willy.
“There is a moment in James and the Giant Peach when the Ladybird says: ‘We are now about to visit the most marvelous places and see the most wonderful things!’ The Centipede replies, ‘there is no knowing what we shall see!’” Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos writes in a blog post. “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.”