‘The Thanksgiving Text’ will be helmed by the same producers behind the film, ‘The Hate You Give’
The real-life story of an Arizona teen who was accidentally invited to Thanksgiving dinner by a stranger and has returned each year since is a heartwarming tale in these divisive times. It’s become so inspirational that it’s being turned into a Netflix movie.
The Thanksgiving Text will tell the story of the bond that was formed between Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench over a texted invite sent to the wrong number that made national news, as reported by Variety.
The screenplay will be handled by Abdul Williams, the writer behind BET mini-series The Bobby Brown Story and Lifetime biopic Salt-N-Pepa. Robert Teitel and George Tillman, Jr. will produce for State Street Pictures. State Street Pictures has also produced The Barbershop films, Men of Honor and The Hate You Give.
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
In 2016, Hinton received a text inviting him to Thanksgiving dinner but didn’t recognize the number. Dench thought she was texting her 24-year-old grandson, but unintentionally reached Hinton instead.
After receiving the text, Hinton, then a high school senior, asked who was contacting him. Dench replied, “Your grandma.”
When Denton sent him her pic, Hinton replied, “you not my grandma,” but asked in jest, “Can I still get a plate tho?”
Dench’s response? “Of course you can. That’s what grandma’s do … Feed everyone.”
Hinton wound up going to dinner and has returned every year since, as theGrio previously reported. Their text exchange went viral on social media and received so much media coverage it prompted Hinton to post their annual dinners on his Instagram and Twitter, showing that their unlikely bond is real.
Until this year, Hinton posted a photo of himself with Dench, her husband Lonnie, and Hinton’s girlfriend, Mikaela, who started joining them, as well.
Thanksgiving 2021 pic.twitter.com/2Ff3PpvvVY— Jamal Hinton (@Jamalhinton12) November 25, 2021
“For everyone who thinks it’s just for the cameras and social media,” Hinton wrote. “Blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives.”
Hinton even became close with Lonnie, who tragically died in 2020 after contracting COVID-19. Hinton announced the news of Lonnie’s death on social media: “Wanda told me all the love and support he was receiving put a huge smile on his face. So, I thank every single one of you guys for that!”
Hinton further reflected on his “unexpected” but “sweet” Thanksgiving tradition in an interview with People. “It was a reminder that there are still some good people left in this world,” Hinton said in 2016 after their interaction went viral.
“She is a very sweet lady, she told me her husband was a veteran and she always invited his friends over for dinner, so she’s used to having a lot of people over. I just got a vibe from her that made me feel at home.”