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True Story of Stranger Invited to 'Grandma's' for Thanksgiving Is Becoming a Netflix Movie

·4 min read
jamal-hinton.jpg
jamal-hinton.jpg

Jamal Hinton/Twitter Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench

The Thanksgiving story that everyone loves is headed for the big screen!

Jamal Hinton announced in a tweet on Thursday that he and Wanda Dench, who first met in 2016 through an accidental text message, were partnering with Netflix to release a film about their heartwarming holiday story.

"I am very excited to announce our new partnership with Netflix," Hinton, 22, wrote on behalf of Dench, 64. "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 Variety, the film, aptly titled The Thanksgiving Text, will recount the true story of how Hinton and Dench met — and how they've maintained their friendship and holiday tradition over the last six years.

The duo will help develop the feel-good tale into a screenplay, which is set to be written by Abdul Williams, per the outlet.

"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," Dench and Hinton said in a joint statement to Variety. "We are so blessed to find a genuine friendship brought together by God from a mistaken text message."

RELATED: 'Year 6!' Teen Who Was Accidentally Invited to 'Grandma's' Thanksgiving Keeps Tradition Going

The pair first met each other in November 2016 when Dench accidentally sent Hinton, then 17, a text message inviting him over for dinner, instead of her 24-year-old grandson. There was some initial confusion, and the two sent selfies to each other that confirmed the mix-up.

Dench later learned that her grandson had switched his number, but when Hinton asked if he could still come over for dinner, she texted back, "Of course you can. That's what grandmas do … feed everyone," according to ABC News.

The two ended up forming an unlikely friendship, with Hinton previously telling PEOPLE that "it was so unexpected, but she was just so sweet about it."

"It was a reminder that there are still some good people left in this world," he said. "She is a very sweet lady... I just got a vibe from her that made me feel at home."

Dench was also impressed by their first meeting, recalling to NBC Nightly News how she and Hinton had immediate chemistry.

"I just clicked when I met him and first talked to him," she explained to the outlet. "I thought, 'Oh my gosh, I want to get to know this guy.' "

Jamal Hinton
Jamal Hinton

Jamal Hinton/Instagram Jamal Hinton with Wanda Dench and his girlfriend Mikaela at Thanksgiving 2021

RELATED: Teen Who Was Accidentally Invited to 'Grandma's' for Thanksgiving Celebrates 6th Holiday with Her

Since then, neither has let Thanksgiving pass without continuing their annual tradition, even when Dench's late husband of 42 years, Lonnie, tragically died in April 2020 after a battle with COVID-19.

Each year, Hinton documents the holiday on his social media by snapping photos with Dench in her Arizona home. He has also spent time with her outside of Thanksgiving, including in 2019 when he and his girlfriend Mikaela met Dench and Lonnie at a pumpkin patch, according to Hinton's Instagram.

Most recently, the pair marked their sixth Thanksgiving together with their annual selfie at the gathering.

RELATED VIDEO: Arizona Grandma Accidentally Texts Wrong Teen Her Thanksgiving Plans — Invites Him Anyway!

"Thanksgiving 2021," wrote Hinton, who shared photos from their previous five celebrations in the Instagram post. "6 years strong💛🦃."

He also shared a sweet photo on Twitter, showing him, Dench and Mikaela smiling while holding up a painting and photo of Lonnie.

Though no cast nor director has been set, Netflix confirmed that Robert Teitel and George Tillman, Jr. for State Street Pictures are among the producers on the film, with Lawrence Mott will serve as an executive producer, according to Variety.

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