Netflix Is Making A Movie About The Grandma Who Accidentally Invited A Stranger To Thanksgiving

Cancel your Thanksgiving plans — Netflix just invited the world over to Grandma's for a potluck dinner! Surprise Thanksgiving invitations are all the rage now, or haven't you heard? The heartwarming tale in question began six years ago, when a grandma in Arizona invited a total stranger to her holiday feast. It was an accidental text message meant for her own grandson, but upon realizing her mistake, she doubled down on the invitation with a genuine ask: Come share Thanksgiving with my family! This story naturally made the rounds on social media and went so viral that Netflix got a whiff of its very popular air. The only logical response? Turn it into a feature film. (A movie based on a Twitter thread you say? There's no way that's been done before!)

Variety reports that "The Thanksgiving Text" will recount the tale of grandmother Wanda Dench and the total stranger who would become her lifelong friend, teenager Jamal Hinton. The internet has spent the past six years swooning over their friendship anyway, so we might as well enjoy it as a full dramatization.

The story will trace the friendship that blossomed from Dench's accidental text, leading Hinton to make the 25-minute drive from his house in south Phoenix to spend Thanksgiving in Mesa, Arizona, with a woman he'd never met. Gotta say, I'm relieved that we actually know how this story ends because hearing that plot description without context is just a tad bit chilling. But no worries, "The Thanksgiving Text" is not the spiritual successor to "Get Out." It's just a sweet tale of unexpected friendship. It will likely be in the vein of other live-action Netflix family films, like the newly released "Mixtape."

Abdul Williams ("Salt-N-Pepa," "The Bobby Brown Story") is set to pen the screenplay for the upcoming film, and no further announcements have been made about who will direct. Producers on the project include Robert Teitel, George Tillman, with Lawrence Mott as an executive producer.

The Story Behind The Text

Get ready for some heartstring tugging, because "The Thanksgiving Text" is rooted in nothing but kindness. The story began when Jamal Hinton, a high school senior at the time, got a text inviting him to a 3:00 P.M. Thanksgiving dinner. Nothing mentioned in the text sounded particularly familiar, so he responded by asking who was texting him. The stranger, later revealed as Wanda Dench, simply responded "your Grandma," topped off with the Grandma emoji. Since this didn't really clear up "Grandma? Can I have a picture?"

The selfie he got in response was a complete stranger. "You not my grandma," he wrote, then jokingly tacked on, "Can I still get a plate tho?" Dench responded the only way a grandmother can: "Of course you can. That's what grandma's do ... Feed everyone." Here's the original tweet from Hinton, hilarious exchange and all:

Six years later, their touching Thanksgiving tradition continues on. The pair regularly share updates of their friendship on social media, which goes beyond the yearly holiday and now includes Christmas, birthdays and just regularly keeping in touch. They often take to Twitter with said updates, including a yearly Thanksgiving selfie. Their holiday reunion hit a new level of poignant in 2020, when Dench's husband passed away due to COVID-19 complications.

Hinton announced "The Thanksgiving Text," on Twitter and the pair released a joint statement expressing their excitement about the film.

"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. We are so blessed to find a genuine friendship brought together by God from a mistaken text message."