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Netflix’s New Feature Film: A Grandmother Accidentally Inviting A Stranger to Thanksgiving

The viral moment of a stranger being invited to Thanksgiving has become a social media tradition. A tradition that led to a Netflix feature film.

Jamal Hinton and Wanda Drench continue the tradition on Thanksgiving 2022 (@jamalhinton12 on Twitter)

In 2016, Wanda Dench was finalizing the guest list for Thanksgiving when she texted who she thought was her grandson. She unknowingly texted Jamal Hinton, a high school senior at the time.

Drench’s original text read that Thanksgiving would be at her house at 3 p.m. Hinton texted back, saying “Who is this?” 

“It’s your grandma,” Drench responded.

Hinton then asked for a selfie, and he subsequently sent a selfie of his own. They both realize the mistake, and Hinton hilariously asks if he could still grab a plate. 

Drench replied: “Of course you can. That’s what grandmas do…they feed everyone!”

Since then, it has become a lovely tradition that everyone looks forward to during Thanksgiving. According to Variety, the tradition will be the subject of an upcoming Netflix feature film, titled “The Thanksgiving Text.”

The tradition took an emotional meaning when Drench’s husband of 42 years, Lonnie Drench, died in April 2022 due to Covid-19 complications.

In a joint statement, Drench and Hinton shared their excitement for the upcoming 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.”

Abdul Williams, who’s written screenplays for “Salt-N-Pepa” and “The Bobby Brown Story,” will write the screenplay for “The Thanksgiving Text.” Neither a director nor a cast has been set for the film. Producers include Robert Teitel and George Tillman, Jr. for State Street Pictures. The production company was behind films like “The Hate U Give” and “The Barbershop Franchise.” 

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