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Netflix announces movie about Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench's viral Thanksgiving text exchange

Grandma's text mix-up
Grandma's text mix-up 01:02

An honest mistake turned into a new holiday tradition – and that tradition is turning into a new Netflix movie. 

In 2016, an Arizona grandmother named Wanda Dench tried to text her grandson about the family's Thanksgiving dinner plans – only she mistakenly added a stranger to the text message. Jamal Hinton, a high school senior, was on the receiving end of the holiday text and jokingly took Dench up on her offer. Now, the wholesome holiday story is being turned into a feature film for Netflix. 

After receiving the first text, Hinton not only asked Dench if he could join her for Thanksgiving, he's actually celebrated the holiday with her every year since. 

Hinton always keeps his followers posted on his and Dench's relationship, and this week he shared a big update. "I am very excited to announce our new partnership with Netflix," he wrote on Instagram. "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!"

The feature film will be written by Abdul Williams, who is also behind "Lottery Ticket," "Salt-N-Pepa," "The Bobby Brown Story" and "The New Edition Story," according to Netflix. 

"The Thanksgiving Text" will depict Hinton and Dench's true life, viral story."Despite their very different backgrounds," he and Dench remained friends, Netflix says in a press release. 

"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," the pair said in a statement. "We are so blessed to find a genuine friendship brought together by God from a mistaken text message."

Over the years, Hinton and Dench's Thanksgiving table has changed. He began bringing his girlfriend, Mikaela. And sadly, Dench's husband, Lonnie, died from COVID-19 in 2020. Last year, Hinton and Dench gathered to remember Lonnie with a smaller Thanksgiving meal. 

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