Not a fan of Johnny Depp's or Gene Wilder’s portrayals of Willy Wonka? You’re in luck: We can expect to see yet another visual adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1964 kid's novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. As Deadline reports, Netflix has acquired the rights to retell the classic children’s story—and many other Dahl books—in an animated series.
Netflix certainly has a lot of material to work with, some of which has already appeared in earlier animated and live-action films. In an agreement with the Roald Dahl Story Company, the streaming entertainment company purchased the rights to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as well as its sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, which has never been adapted for film. Other titles in the agreement include Matilda, The BFG, The Twits, George’s Marvellous Medicine, Boy: Tales of Childhood, Going Solo, The Enormous Crocodile, The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, Henry Sugar, Billy and the Minpins, The Magic Finger, Esio Trot, Dirty Beasts, and Rhyme Stew.
Missing from the list are The Witches, James and the Giant Peach, and Fantastic Mr. Fox, which got their own movies in 1990, 1996, and 2009, respectively. In a statement, Netflix confirmed that the company "intends to remain faithful to the quintessential spirit and tone of Dahl while also building out an imaginative story universe that expands far beyond the pages of the books themselves."
Felicity Dahl said her late husband, who died in 1990, would have been “thrilled” by the Netflix agreement.
Dahl wasn’t always pleased with past retellings of his stories. He reportedly hated the 1971 Willy Wonka movie, calling it “crummy” and labeling Gene Wilder’s portrayal of the titular character “pretentious” and “bouncy.” Since the author's death, the Roald Dahl Story Company has been tasked with overseeing the legacy of Dahl’s stories in film, television, and theater, and the executors have been especially careful to avoid sequels and spin-offs.