Netflix acquires rights to Dahl’s complete works, opening door to back catalog

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. work / wɜrk / (n.) – something created by an artist, musician, writer, etc. such as a painting, book, or song

    The works of great painters like Da Vinci could cost up to millions of dollars each.

  2. rights / raɪts / (n.) – the legal permission that allows a person or organization to publish, reproduce, and sell materials like books, movies, songs, etc.

    The publisher owns the rights to the famous author’s book.

  3. strike a deal / straɪk ə dil / (idiom) – to reach an agreement, especially on the conditions set by two people or groups

    The clothing brand struck a deal with a popular marketing agency for a new ad.

  4. bring (something) to screen / brɪŋ tu skrin / (idiom) – to make something into a movie or television show

    The film director is excited to bring Princess Diana’s life story to screen.

  5. back catalog / bæk ˈkæt lˌɔg / (n.) – a list or collection of all the books, music, movies, etc. that an artist, writer, or company has created in the past

    The museum keeps back catalogs of different artists.


Read the text below.

Netflix has acquired the works of Roald Dahl, the late British author of famous children’s books such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

The video streaming giant said on Sept. 22 that it acquired Roald Dahl Story Co., which manages the rights to the author’s characters and stories. Netflix did not say how much it paid.

The two companies had already struck a deal in 2018 to create animated TV series based on Dahl’s books. They include one series based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, to be directed by filmmaker Taika Waititi.

The new deal paves the way for Netflix to bring all of the author’s back catalog to screens.

Dahl died in 1990 at age 74, but his books are still popular with young readers. More than 300 million copies have been sold worldwide, and they have been translated into 63 languages. (AP)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Netflix has reached an agreement with Roald Dahl Story Co., which manages the rights to Dahl’s characters and stories. Do you think the company made the right decision to strike a deal with Netflix? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Dahl died in 1990, but his books are still popular today. Why do you think his works continue to be popular (ex. they teach important lessons, older fans buy them for their children)? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Do you think children these days would rather watch TV than read books? In your opinion, would bringing books to screen encourage them to read more? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • While it’s more common to bring books to screens, some publishers also produce books based on popular movies. Do you think this is a good idea? Why or why not? Discuss.