One grandma’s mistaken text message is now being adapted into a Netflix feature film.
In 2016, Jamal Hinton, a senior in high school, received a text from a grandmother inviting him over for Thanksgiving dinner.
Hinton quickly figured out it wasn’t his grandmother, but grandma Wanda Dench still extended her invitation to the then stranger to come over for Thanksgiving dinner.
Now, weeks after celebrating Thanksgiving together this year, Hinton tweeted an announcement about an upcoming Netflix film based on their story of an unlikely friendship.
The feature film The Thanksgiving Text will follow the true story of strangers becoming friends after a text mishap.
I am very excited to announce our new partnership with Netflix. We thank every single one of you for your love and support in our journey the last 6 years. We can’t wait to tell our story on the big screen! 🎥🍾 pic.twitter.com/0heCmEWMDM
— Jamal Hinton (@Jamalhinton12) December 2, 2021
“We are excited to share our story with the world,” Hinton and Dench said in a joint statement. “We hope it inspires more people to reach out and make connections that they wouldn’t ordinarily make.”
Abdul Williams, whose works include Lottery Ticket, Salt-N-Pepa, and The Bobby Brown Story, will write the film. Robert Teitel and George Tillman Jr. will produce the film; their works include The Hate U Give, The Barbershop franchise and Men of Honor.
The Thanksgiving Text will join Netflix’s growing slate of live action family films featuring kids and teens.
Hinton has joined Dench for every Thanksgiving dinner since 2016, and it has quickly become a tradition that social media users look forward to every year. Photos of them celebrating together on Twitter amass thousands of likes and retweets.
However, the Thanksgiving dinner table looked different in 2020.
In April 2020, Dench and her husband, Lonnie, were hospitalized with COVID-19. He died from complications from the virus.
Hinton told CNN that the dinner was “shaky” at first, but they were back to their normal selves after 5 minutes. “We just told jokes and stories and shared our memories of Lonnie, so it was amazing,” he said.
“We are so blessed to find a genuine friendship brought together by God from a mistaken text message,” Hinton and Dench said in their statement.
Tien Le is an intern on NPR’s News Desk.