The mistaken Thanksgiving text invitation is being made into a Netflix movie

After Cheeto won the presidency in 2016, many Americans needed a great story to lift their spirits. In walks Jamal Hinton, a high school senior who received an accidental text from Wanda Dench, who was inviting her grandson to Thanksgiving. Jamal took her up on the offer. Since that fateful text in 2016, Jamal has returned every year to Wanda’s for Thanksgiving. Last year, Wanda invited Jamal’s girlfriend and family to the festivities. Sadly it was the last year they all had with Wanda’s husband, Lonnie, who passed from COVID in April. But inviting a perfect stranger to Thanksgiving dinner and sort of making them an honorary family member wasn’t the end of this fantastical story. Now, Netflix is developing the “mistaken Thanksgiving text invitation,” into a feature film. Jamal made the announcement about the deal on Twitter and he and Wanda did a joint statement about the news. Abdul Williams, who wrote the Salt N Pepa biopic and The Bobby Brown Story, will develop the screenplay for Thanksgiving Text. We don’t have casting news yet and a director has not yet been tapped. Here is more on this story from NPR.

Now, weeks after celebrating Thanksgiving together this year, Hinton tweeted an announcement about an upcoming Netflix film based on their story of an unlikely friendship.

The feature film The Thanksgiving Text will follow the true story of strangers becoming friends after a text mishap.

“We are excited to share our story with the world,” Hinton and Dench said in a joint statement. “We hope it inspires more people to reach out and make connections that they wouldn’t ordinarily make.”

Abdul Williams, whose works include Lottery Ticket, Salt-N-Pepa, and The Bobby Brown Story, will write the film. Robert Teitel and George Tillman Jr. will produce the film; their works include The Hate U Give, The Barbershop franchise and Men of Honor.

[From NPR]

This was one of my favorite stories of 2016. Even though I wasn’t that shocked about the 2016 presidential results, 2016 just felt like such a heavy year. When I read the story about Jamal, Wanda, and Lonnie, somehow I felt hopeful about the next few years. I was sad to find out that Wanda’s husband Lonnie died from COVID last year. It was sweet to see that despite her loss, Wanda still continued her family’s new tradition of having Jamal and his girlfriend over for Thanksgiving. It was also not lost on me that we have yet to see a picture of Wanda and her actual grandson. I am so glad that Netflix has decided to make this sort of meet cute into a movie. We are all in need of a feel good story. The fact that the movie is based on a true story makes it that much more endearing.

This sort of story encourages others to do things outside of their comfort zone. Wanda could have easily apologized to Jamal and rescinded her accidental invitation but her giving heart and open mind helped her create a sort of second family with Jamal. I hope the film also includes everyone’s backstory. Wanda and Lonnie had been married 42 years when Lonnie passed away last year. I wonder how they met and started a family. It’s sad that we lost Lonnie to COVID but hopefully this film will immortalize his life and generosity. I want to place bets on who will star. I would love to see Diane Keaton (I know she is much older than Wanda but still) as Wanda and Kevin Costner as Lonnie. Jamal reminds me of John Boyega in a way but John is too old to play Lonnie since he was a high school senior at the beginning. I am totally looking forward to tracking the development of this film. I hope Netflix does this act of kindness justice.

photos via Netflix and social media

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15 Responses to “The mistaken Thanksgiving text invitation is being made into a Netflix movie”

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  1. BeanieBean says:

    I love this story! I missed it the first time around.

  2. Pork chops & Apple sauce says:

    Melissa McCarthy might be good in this…0

  3. Erin says:

    What a great story this has continued to be. I’m honestly glad these 2 will be getting some financial support from this. Couldn’t happen to more deserving people. These folks are all lovely humans.

  4. Amy Too says:

    I’m wondering what the conflict on the story will be though. Every story has to have conflict. Hopefully they don’t do something gross and make Wanda and Jamal get into a fight or something. Hopefully it’s more “us overcoming an outside conflict” rather than a “me against you” type conflict.

  5. C-No says:

    I want to know what happened to Wanda’s grandson, the one who was supposed to get the invite text. No one ever mentions him. Is he not invited anymore?!

    • Lyds says:

      I know! I tried to get more background info and there is nothing on him. It seemed like that first Thanksgiving, Wanda wasn’t even going to host but decided to send out the text anyway and got Jamal’s reply. It’s a great story and I want to know more.

  6. lucy2 says:

    I love this story and it always warms my heart to see their tradition continuing. I was so sad to see that Lonnie had passed away.

    Honestly I can’t see how one makes this into a full length feature film, without inventing a lot of something, but hopefully both parties are happy with it.

  7. terra says:

    This does not really impress me. My grandma did this kind of thing all the time when I was a kid. When I was about nine or so she and I had to make a last-minute trip to the grocery store (what up, Albertson’s!) and she ended up inviting the girl at the bakery counter and the girl’s boyfriend to Thanksgiving the next day.

    She also bought a handful of extra presents every year in case anyone new showed up for Christmas because, in her opinion, no one should ever come to a Christmas party and leave empty handed.

    (Side note: I’m from Texas and that Albertson’s turned into Barnes & Noble for twenty years, but sometime in the last two it shut down. What has it become, you ask? Why, it’s a gun store/shooting range! Goodbye knowledge, hello death , , , welcome to Texas.)

  8. ClaireB says:

    I loved this story when it was first reported and it still made me tear up again today.

  9. Kristen says:

    I hate that I am super skeptical about this whole story. I want it to be exactly as presented but I just have a weird feeling about it. Not that this wouldnt happen in real life, just that it seemed weird we never heard about the rest of the family or anything. Idk.

  10. Christine says:

    I am so happy every time another article about Wanda and Jamal comes out. This is how the world should be, always.

  11. Kaykay says:

    Omg, I lost it at “cheetos”, lmao.

    I remember this story and would love to se the film. Such a meet cute.