Netflix to Create Shows Drawing on ‘Matilda’ Author Roald Dahl
(Bloomberg) -- Netflix Inc. is developing a slate of animated shows based on the works of Roald Dahl, extending the streaming giant’s aggressive push into children’s programming.
The shows will draw on books such as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Matilda,” “The BFG” and “The Twits,” Netflix said on Tuesday. Production on the first series is slated to begin next year.
Dahl, who died in 1990, has remained a steady source of fodder for Hollywood in the past three decades. A film version of “The BFG” was directed by Steven Spielberg for Walt Disney Co. in 2016, and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” generated more than $200 million in domestic box-office revenue for Warner Bros. in 2005. Director Wes Anderson also drew on the author’s work to create “Fantastic Mr. Fox” in 2009.
Netflix, the world’s biggest paid streaming-video service, is betting that an overwhelming array of content can keep its customers locked in and ward off competition. The Los Gatos, California-based company released a record-setting 676 hours of original programming in the third quarter, according to Cowen & Co. The helped Netflix sign up nearly 7 million customers during the period.
But Netflix investors have grown worried about the amount the company is spending on programming, especially as it sells junk bonds in order to finance the slate. Since a high in July, the stock has lost more than a third of its value -- hurt in part by a broader pullback for tech shares.
Dahl’s material, which features quirky and often-menacing characters, also hasn’t been a source of sure-fire hits for Hollywood. Despite Spielberg’s involvement, “The BFG” was considered a flop two years ago.
Terms of Netflix’s Dahl agreement weren’t disclosed.
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