The holiday season is filled with uplifting, heartwarming stories of people everywhere bonding and creating new wonderful memories together and no story sticks out in the mind’s of many to encapsulate this feeling more than the 2016 true tale of a grandma inviting a stranger into her home for her family’s Thanksgiving.
According to Variety, the young man and grandma are getting their own on-screen telling of their touching story via Netflix. The Thanksgiving Text will be a film adaptation of a wrong text turned right when Wanda Dench accidentally messaged then high school senior, Jamal Hinton, instead of her grandson to invite him to Thanksgiving dinner. The pair’s comedic text misunderstanding quickly took off on social media, looping many in on the sweet communication exchange between the two.
The back and forth conversation went like this: Dench texted the number to let her grandson know that dinner would be served at her house at 3 p.m. When the unknown phone number appeared on Hinton’s screen, the young Arizona man asked who it was. To that, Dench messaged back, “Your grandma” accompanying the text with a selfie. Hinton responded, “You not my grandma” and followed up with, “Can I still get a plate tho?” When Dench wrote back, “Of course you can. That’s what grandma’s do… Feed everyone,” a holiday tradition was created.
The pair have adorably kept up this ritual every year and have continued to fill in social media followers on their continuous friendship both on Thanksgiving day as well as their interactions throughout the year. Through thick and through thin, the duo has shown up for each other not only for their turkey day tradition, but also in each other’s personal lives. When Dench’s husband of 42 years, Lonnie Dench, passed away in April 2020 from COVID-19 complications, Hinton was there. Lonnie enjoyed participating in the Thanksgiving event, so it was important that Hinton made it work to support his newfound family. It has truly become a family affair as Hinton’s girlfriend and his family also started attending the yearly gobble.
The film’s screenplay will be crafted by Salt-N-Pepa and Lottery Ticket writer, Abdul Williams. The film has yet to find its director and cast. The production team will be made up of Robert Teitel and George Tillman, Jr. for State Street Pictures (The Barbershop franchise, Men of Honor) with Lawrence Mott to join as executive producer.
While we can all look forward to the film version of this sweet story, no one may be more excited than Dench and Hinton themselves. In a joint statement, the pair said, “We are excited to share our story with the world. We hope it inspires more people to reach out and make connections that they wouldn’t ordinarily make. We are so blessed to find a genuine friendship brought together by God from a mistaken text message.”