Roald Dahl is one of the most popular authors in the world. The award-winning children's writer is the name behind classic childhood stories like Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox, among others. Due to the popularity of his books, several of them have been adapted to films by famed directors like Steven Spielberg, Wes Anderson, and Tim Burton.
Now, it appears that Netflix is going all-in on Dahl's work as it has acquired the rights to his entire catalog.
Netflix takes a page out of its competitor's book
Netflix's base strategy doesn't revolve around acquisitions like WarnerMedia and Disney. Unlike its main competition, the streaming giant prefers to partner with known directors to create original material like Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead movie that has since spawned a live-action prequel in Army of the Thieves and an untitled sequel, among others.
Another strategy that Netflix has employed is adapting relatively obscure properties with high potential, like Gerard Way's Umbrella Academy comics and the Fear Street books.
With that said, the streaming landscape today is much different from in years past. Netflix has gotten much bigger, with deeper pockets to put to use, but the competition has also exploded. Thus, it needs to strengthen its offerings. One way of doing this is to finally make acquisitions, which it has done in recent years.
Excited to announce that the Roald Dahl Story Company (RDSC) and Netflix are joining forces to bring some of the world's most loved stories to current and future fans in creative new ways.
“We are now about to visit the most marvellous places and see the most wonderful things.” pic.twitter.com/NIiBeStJm2
— Netflix (@netflix) September 22, 2021
As per Netflix's announcement, fans should expect more projects based on Dahl properties in the future. This could potentially include everything from animated and live-action TV shows as well as films and quite possibly even games, which Netflix invested heavily in earlier this year.
At the moment, Netflix has confirmed that it is working on an "event series from the awe-inspiration vision of Taiki Waititi based on the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and another wholly original take on the Oompa-Loompas.
What's interesting here is that it's not clear how this acquisition by Netflix will affect other Dahl properties that are currently in the works. Warner Bros is expected to release a prequel starring Timothée Chalamet as Willy Wonka, which would be set before the events of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The film has been in development for a while and is expected to launch on March 17, 2023. However, the acquisition could affect any deal that Warner Bros. might have had in place. Most likely what will happen here is that Warner Bros. and Netflix will work out a new deal.
With that said, we might see Netflix drop more details regarding its upcoming Dahl projects soon. Netflix is hosting a global fan event on September 25. Even if the streaming giant has already confirmed its lineup, nothing is stopping it from making a surprise announcement or two.