Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench’s heartwarming Thanksgiving story — a coincidental encounter that sparked a now six-year friendship — is getting turned into a feel-good Netflix feature film.
Back in 2016, Dench, a white grandmother in Arizona, accidentally texted Hinton, a Black high school senior, then 17-year-old. The grandmother sent Hinton an invitation to her family’s Thanksgiving dinner thinking that she’d sent it to her grandson.
After sending selfies to each other, the pair realized that there’d been a mix-up in phone numbers. Apparently, Dench’s grandson had gotten a new number unbeknownst to her.
That said, when Hinton asked if he could still join Dench’s family for Thanksgiving dinner, the grandmother replied, “Of course you can. That’s what grandmas do… feed everyone.”
The two have celebrated Turkey Day every year since, and Hinton’s continued to document their annual festivities and growing friendship for social media users who’ve made the story viral.
Netflix’s adaptation of the pair’s story, titled The Thanksgiving Text, will recount the events of how Hinton and Dench’s first meeting came to be — and how they’ve been able to maintain their friendly holiday tradition.
“I am very excited to announce our new partnership with Netflix,” Hinton, 22, shared on Twitter. Speaking on behalf of Dench, 64, he added, “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!”
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While Netflix hasn’t picked a director or cast the film as of yet, the streaming service has brought on Abdul Williams (“Salt-N-Pepa,” “The Bobby Brown Story”) to write up the screenplay, reports Variety.
“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,” a joint statement from Dench and Hinton reads. “We are so blessed to find a genuine friendship brought together by God from a mistaken text message.”
In a photo capturing the duo’s Turkey Day celebration this year, their 6th, Dench held a photo of her late husband of 42 years, Lonnie Dench, who died last year in April due to COVID complications.
Hinton, joined by his girlfriend, held up a painting of him and her alongside the Denchs in the snapshot.
It’s too early to know if the film will be out by Thanksgiving 2022 — but we assume it’ll be a success whenever it does hit Netflix thanks to the hundreds of thousands of people who’ve been exposed to Hinton and Dench’s story.
Would you watch it?
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