Netflix has partnered with the Roald Dahl Story Company, the estate of Roald Dahl to bring several works to the streaming platform in the coming years. Dahl, whose works famously include The Witches, The BFG, and James and the Giant Peach, has had his work interpreted many times in the past — most recently, The BFG made it to the big screen in a 2016 movie adaptation.
"Our mission, which is purposefully lofty, is for as many children as possible around the world to experience the unique magic and positive message of Roald Dahl’s stories,” Felicity Dahl, Roald's widow and the arbiter of his estate, said in a press release. "This partnership with Netflix marks a significant move toward making that possible...Roald would, I know, be thrilled.”
Melissa Cobb, Vice President of Kids & Family Content at Netflix, added, "We have great creative ambition to reimagine the journeys of so many treasured Dahl characters in fresh, contemporary ways with the highest quality animation and production values."
Netflix has optioned the following properties for the site: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG, The Twits, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, George’s Marvellous Medicine, Boy – Tales of Childhood, Going Solo, The Enormous Crocodile, The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, Henry Sugar, Billy and the Minpins, The Magic Finger, Esio Trot, Dirty Beasts, and Rhyme Stew. A few of these titles, such as Matilda, have been adapted in the past. Notable exceptions from this list are James and the Giant Peach — which was made into a musical in 2010 — and The Witches, pictured above, which was made into a film in 1990.
The first Dahl Netflix series will begin production in 2019, per Netflix's press release. The series will be animated.
It is the first time Netflix, which is amassing talent the way dragons hoard jewels, has directly acquired an intellectual property. The streaming site has actively been tapping creators for exclusive deals that prevent the creators from making content for any other platform. Last year, the reigning queen of ABC Shonda Rhimes moved to Netflix, where she will be producing a multitude of shows. In February of this year, Ryan Murphy signed a 5-year deal for $300 million. More recently, Sharp Objects creator Marti Noxon signed a multi-year deal with the streaming platform. With its partnership with The Roald Dahl Story Company, Netflix has the freedom to attach various creators to the works of Dahl. Might we suggest Guillermo del Toro as a potential creator?