Netflix will create a ‘story universe’ based on the work of Roald Dahl

Netflix and The Roald Dahl Story Company announced today that they’ve signed a deal for the streaming service to create a slate of animated “event series” based on a long list of titles by the classic children’s author, including “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Matilda” and “The BFG.”

All of those books have already been turned into feature films — multiple times, in the case of “Charlie.” But the deal also includes less famous titles like “George’s Marvelous Medicine,” “Going Solo” and even Dahl’s memoir “Boy.” (However, my favorite Dahl novel, “Danny the Champion of the World,” does not appear to be on the list, which is a travesty.)

It sounds like the idea is less about straightforward adaptations and more about telling new stories using various characters, storylines and settings. Could it be a Roald Dahl … cinematic universe? Well, the press release describes it as “an imaginative story universe that expands far beyond the pages of the books themselves.”

“Our mission, which is purposefully lofty, is for as many children as possible around the world to experience the unique magic and positive message of Roald Dahl’s stories,” said Felicity Dahl (his widow) in the release. “This partnership with Netflix marks a significant move toward making that possible and is an incredibly exciting new chapter for the Roald Dahl Story Company. Roald would, I know, be thrilled.”

Netflix and The Roald Dahl Story Company say they will go into production on the first series in 2019.