Netflix lands golden ticket by buying Roald Dahl estate

Netflix lands golden ticket by buying Roald Dahl estate BLOG Monday 27th September2021


Netflix lands golden ticket by buying Roald Dahl estate

Netflix has bought the rights to Roald Dahl’s classic children’s books from the author’s family.

The deal means the streaming giant will own creations like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG.

Netflix will control what happens to them in publishing as well as TV and film – and receive the royalties.

It will also create numerous spin-off games; stage shows and other live experiences. Neither side would reveal how much the deal is worth.

The takeover means The Roald Dahl Story Company – which is run by Dahl’s grandson Luke Kelly and was previously owned by the family and other employees – will now become a division of Netflix.

It earned £26m revenue from the author’s work in 2019, according to its latest accounts.

In a joint statement, Mr Kelly and Netflix boss Ted Sarandos said they were “joining forces to bring some of the world’s most loved stories to current and future fans in creative new ways”.

Netflix is making a screen adaptation of Matilda The Musical.

The move builds on a deal between the streaming giant and the estate in 2018, allowing it to make animated series based on his books.

Under that agreement, Oscar winner Taika Waititi is currently working on a series based on the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Sony and Working Title are making an adaptation of Matilda The Musical.

In total, 19 TV shows, films, stage shows and live experiences are already in the works.

“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 theatre, consumer products and more,” Mr Kelly and Mr Sarandos said.

Netflix made the announcement by revealing its name on golden ticket hidden inside a Willy Wonka chocolate bar wrapper.

The back of the ticket had the words “There is no knowing what we shall see” – a line from James and the Giant Peach.

“As we bring these timeless tales to more audiences in new formats, we’re committed to maintaining their unique spirit and their universal themes of surprise and kindness, while also sprinkling some fresh magic into the mix,” Mr Kelly and Mr Sarandos added.

Roald Dahl’s universe might not be a golden ticket for the writer’s fans

By Rebecca Nicholson  (an Observer columnist).

It has been a lucrative week for the estate of Roald Dahl and an expensive one for Netflix, which purchased the Roald Dahl Story Company for a reported £500m and though neither organisation would confirm the exact sum involved, I’m sure the frobscottle corks were popped. In a statement, the streaming service said its planned adaptation of Matilda the Musical and its forthcoming animated Charlie and the Chocolate Factory series had “opened its 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 theatre, consumer products and more”.

Whew. It’s going to be Frozen all over again, isn’t it? I don’t have children, but I do have nephews and nieces and have learned through them that there is nothing you can’t embellish with Anna and Elsa. A fork? Frozened. Trainers with sparkly laces? Frozened. There are Frozen potties, Hula Hoops, bed frames, tents. There are more snowflakes on children’s toys than there are people angrily typing the word on Twitter. Surely it’s only a matter of time before we get Miss Trunchbull-branded javelins, Mr Twit beard combs or a Grandpa Joe-themed bedspread.

Most children who grew up on a giddy, gruesome diet of Dahl will have a lingering fantasy that thechocolate factory could one day be a possibility, though the pandemic may have had a lasting impact on the desirability of wallpaper you can lick. Yes, Willy Wonka’s machines maimed children, but it was worth it, by the sounds of that Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight. If the Dahl universe does get the full Harry Potter treatment, then beware false hope: I have made the real-life attempt at Butterbeer, so you don’t have to. I’d rather face Dementors than drink it again.

Netflix has been urged to acknowledge Dahl’s well-documented antisemitism, for which his descendants apologised last year, with the Board of Deputies of British Jews calling for a documentary to be made about his bigotry, so as to avoid painting him “as some sort of paragon of kindness and virtue”.

Even so, Dahl branding is already out there. Matilda has given her name to bubble bath. You could buy disappointing Wonka chocolate with popping candy in it for years. I remember a gentle boat ride at Alton Towers that took all of the nastiness out of the chocolate factory. It is a particular kind of possessive nostalgia, I think, which makes the idea of a Roald Dahl “immersive experience” instinctively off-putting, but hope lies in the prose. His books are about powerful, self-sufficient children and inept, cruel or useless adults or sometimes adults who are all three. They are about farts – and death and neglect – and they are about magic and strength and freedom. This is a heady mix to balance. Let’s hope those immersive experiences can take it.



Top Thirty  Best Roald Dahl Books

1              Charlie and the Chocolate Factory                                                  1964

2              Matilda                                                                                                  1988

3              The BFG                                                                                                1982

4              The Witches                                                                                          1983

5              James and the Giant Peach                                                                1961

6              Fantastic Mr Fox                                                                                 1970

7              The Twits                                                                                              1980

8              George’s Marvellous Medicine                                                         1981

9              Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator                                              1972

10           Danny, the Champion of the World                                                 1975

11           Boy                                                                                                        1984

12           Esio Trot                                                                                               1990

13           The Enormous Crocodile                                                                   1978

14           Lamb to the Slaughter                                                                        1958

15           Going Solo                                                                                            1986

16           The Magic Finger                                                                                1966

17           The Gremlins                                                                                        1943

18           Vile Verses                                                                                            2005

19           Dirty Beasts                                                                                         1983

20           Great Mouse Plot                                                                                 1996

21           Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes                                                       1994

22           The Minpins                                                                                         1991

23           The Missing Golden Ticket and Other Splendiferous Secrets     2010

24           The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More                    1977

25           Revolting Rhymes                                                                              1982

26           Rhyme Stew                                                                                         1989

27           The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me                                                    1985

28           Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories                                                 1983

29           The Vicar of Nibbleswicke                                                                1991

30           Kiss Kiss                                                                                                1960


REMEMBER: The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

– Nicolas Chamfort


  1. “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” – Paulo Coelho


Happiness is…a Roald Dahl story.


“Did you hear about the shrimp that went to the prawn’s cocktail party? He pulled a mussel.” – Ken Dodd


Love is…two hearts travelling the same path.


A time for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory…A time for Matilda…and a time for each and everyone of Roald Dahl’s books.


27th September

1672 A new British company, the ‘Royal Africa Company’ was given a monopoly of the African slave trade to America, with discounts for those who purchased entire shiploads.

1825 The world’s first public railway service began with the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway. Built by George Stephenson, the track was 27 miles long, and the steam locomotive Active pulled 32 passenger wagons at ten miles per hour.

1888 The first use of the name, ‘Jack the Ripper’ in an anonymous letter to the Central News Agency. He went on to kill five women, and it’s believed he may have been responsible for the deaths of four more.

1938 The 83,000 ton liner ‘Queen Elizabeth’ was launched at John Brown’s Yard on Clydebank in Scotland by the Queen Mother. With her sister ship Queen Mary, she provided luxury liner service between Southampton and New York via Cherbourg in France.

1960 Bank Underground Station in London opened Europe’s first ‘moving pavement’.

1968 The musical Hair, (which took advantage of the end of British stage censorship by including a scene cast in the nude), had its first London performance. It played 1,998 performances until its closure was forced by the roof collapsing in July 1973

1979 The BBC’s Question Time aired for the first time, chaired by Robin Day, who stayed with the programme for ten years.




©2021 Phil M Robinson