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Netflix banking on Roald Dahl ‘universe’ as its golden ticket to streaming supremacy

Netflix has opened its wallet with the acquisition of children’s author Roald Dahl’s catalog of work to produce a mountain of programming for bookworms to binge.

This cements an existing three-year relationship with the Roald Dahl Story Company, which saw Netflix agree to produce a series of animated features based on the classic tales of the grotesque and unexpected.

This opened the door to a Dahl bonanza, with director Taika Waititi already working on animated reimaginings of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as well as both animated and live-action interpretations of Matilda and plans for a BFG cartoon.

Netflix said: “These projects opened our eyes to a much more ambitious venture. The creation of a unique universe across animated and live-action films and TV, publishing, games, immersive experiences, live theater, consumer products and more.”

Speculation suggests Netflix paid in excess of $100m to close the deal – a figure which, if true, would probably rank as its largest acquisition.

Past attempts to brand Dahl’s eclectic tales under a single banner led the author’s literary estate to develop an overarching identity and logo to bracket the works.

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