Netflix Making Movie About Teen’s Viral Thanksgiving Invitation

Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench are show taking a selfie. (Credit: Instagram/jamalhinton12)

The viral story of a grandmother who accidentally sent a text message inviting a teenager she didn’t know to Thanksgiving dinner is being made into a Netflix movie.

In 2016, Jamal Hinton received the text from Arizona grandmother Wanda Dench.

The high school senior quickly figured out it wasn’t from his own grandmother. After telling Dench he wasn’t her grandson, he asked: “Can I still get a plate tho?” Dench told local media outlets at the time, “I said, ‘Sure you can.’ That’s what grandmas do – they feed everybody.”

Related StoryNetflix Shifts $100 Million to Black Banks to Close Equity Gap

Hinton shared the news on Instagram this week that their unlikely friendship is now being turned into a feature film.

“I am very excited to announce our new partnership with Netflix,” Hinton wrote. “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!”

According to KPHO-TV, the pair spent their sixth Thanksgiving together this year. Sadly, Dench’s husband Lonnie was not there because he died from COVID-19 in April 2020.

The film on Hinton and Dench is titled The Thanksgiving Text, and will be written by Abdul Williams (Lottery Ticket, Salt-N-Pepa, The Bobby Brown Story, The New Edition Story), Netflix said in a Dec. 2 press release.

Here’s the official description: “The film is based on the true story that went viral of Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench, two strangers who met after Wanda accidentally texted Jamal instead of her grandson, inviting him to Thanksgiving dinner. When Jamal, a senior in high school, accepted the invitation anyway, a deep friendship was formed between Wanda and Jamal, despite their very different backgrounds.”

Lawrence Mott will serve as executive producer. Robert Teitel is producing alongside George Tillman, Jr. for State Street Pictures. So far, there is no director attached to the project.

The Thanksgiving Text joins Netflix’s growing slate of live action family films featuring kids and teens, which include the upcoming movie Mixtape directed by Valerie Weiss (Outer Banks) starring Gemma Brooke Allen and Julie Bowen.