‘Charlie and the chocolate factory’ or ‘Matilda’, acquired by Netflix: the platform wants a shared universe dedicated to Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl, the legendary author of children’s literature (and for adults, although at the moment it seems that his superb and very black stories for mature audiences have not aroused so much interest) is the new acquisition of Netflix. The streaming platform wants to create a kind of Dahl-verse, a shared universe in which will fit historical creations of youth literature, such as ‘Matilda’, ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’, ‘James and the giant peach’ or ‘My friend the giant’.
Netflix had already reached an agreement three years ago with Roald Dahl Story Company, who carry the rights of the writer, to adapt some of his stories, but the platform has gone a step further. Until now, this project had a couple of animated adaptations as flag bearers: from ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ starring Taika Waititi, and from the musical based on ‘Matilda’ in collaboration with Sony.
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El MCU de Dahl
Now Netflix has taken a step further, in a much more ambitious direction: it has bought the rights to the works to generate a cross universe of both animated and live-action projects. According to the platform, they will include “movies and live-action series, books, games, immersive experiences, theater” and other variants. Bloomberg, a medium that anticipated the official announcement of Netflix, has valued Dahl’s catalog at a price between 500 and 1 billion dollars. In 2018, The Hollywood Reporter valued the license of the properties (not the purchase of the catalog) as the largest investment in this regard that the platform had made to date
Netflix’s goal is clear: take advantage of one of the most valuable groups of intellectual properties aimed at children and young people from among those who do not belong to a major. It remains to be seen if the idea of a shared universe does not slow down in terms of ambition or mere coherence, but for now the 200 million copies of Dahl’s books sold around the world certify the interest that, from the start, it could arouse such a project.