Netflix Movie ‘The Thanksgiving Text’: What We Know So Far

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the thanksgiving text netflix project

In an effort to boost its output of heartwarming feel-good content, Netflix will produce The Thanksgiving Text, telling the true story of unexpected friendship and a heartwarming tradition between two strangers who met after Wanda Dench accidentally texted Jamal Linton instead of her grandson, inviting him to Thanksgiving dinner. When Jamal, a senior in high school, accepted the invitation anyway, a deep friendship was formed between Wanda and Jamal, despite their very different backgrounds.

The script for the movie is written by Abdul Williams, whose credits include Lottery Ticket, Salt-N-Pepa, The Bobby Brown Story, The New Edition Story and more. No director is currently attached to the project. Producers for the project are Robert Teitel and George Tillman, Jr. for State Street Pictures (The Hate U Give, The Barbershop Franchise, Men of Honor, Notorious, Soul Food)

Wanda Dench and Jamal Hinton commented on the Netflix project that will share their story with the world:

“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. ” 


What’s the plot of The Thanksgiving Text?

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Variety concisely recounted the entire story that occurred:

The Thanksgiving Text will recount the true tale that began in 2016, when Wanda Dench thought she was texting her grandson to check if he would be coming over for Turkey Day. Apparently, she had the wrong cell phone number. She actually texted Jamal Hinton, a high school senior at the time, who accepted her invitation anyway — and has attended her feast every year since.

In their initial exchange, Hinton received a text from an unknown number inviting him to Thanksgiving dinner (at 3 p.m. — but that’s neither here nor there). When he asked who it was, Dench responded, “Your grandma.” After she sent a selfie, Hinton replied, “You not my grandma,” and jokingly added, “Can I still get a plate tho?” Dench texted back, “Of course you can. That’s what grandma’s do … Feed everyone.” And thus, a cherished Thanksgiving ritual was born.

In the years following their viral text messages, Hinton and Dench have regularly taken to social media to give updates about their friendship. It has become routine to share a selfie around Thanksgiving time to document their annual reunions, generating plenty of media coverage in the process. Given the online popularity of their heartening story, Hinton and Dench have seen their social media follower counts explode, with Hinton amassing 129,000 followers on Twitter and Dench racking up more than 26,000.

Dench has since extended the invitation to Hinton’s girlfriend and his family to partake in the yearly festivities. After the pandemic hit, their reunion became poignant because Dench’s husband of 42 years, Lonnie Dench, who also participated in the Thanksgiving tradition, died in April 2020 from COVID-19 complications.


Who is cast in The Thanksgiving Text?

No cast members have been announced for The Thanksgiving Text as of March 2022.


What’s the production status of The Thanksgiving Text?

Netflix’s The Thanksgiving Text is currently in active development meaning the script is currently being written and revised with pre-production following afterward. The production for the limited series will likely get underway this year.


What’s the Netflix release date for The Thanksgiving Text?

Netflix hasn’t revealed the release date for The Thanksgiving Text, but it would stand to reason that the movie would be released somewhere around Thanksgiving 2022, meaning late November.

Netflix Movie ‘The Thanksgiving Text’: What We Know So Far

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Tigran is our resident previews writer. He works on collecting everything known about upcoming Netflix Original projects.