Five years after Jamal Hinton snagged a seat at Wanda Dench’s Thanksgiving dinner due to a misdialed number, Netflix has announced that their tale will be transformed into a feature film. Abdul Williams (The New Edition Story and The Bobby Brown Story) will write The Thanksgiving Text, but a cast and director have yet to be announced, according to Variety.
The Thanksgiving Text is the most recent example of a film that was inspired by viral internet material. Perhaps most impressively, Zola adapted #TheStory, a viral Twitter thread, into a surprisingly decent feature-length film. Other instances are Bad Ass, a film partially based on the viral video “AC Transit Bus Fight,” and the fact that the original Deadpool may never have been greenlit if its leaked test footage hadn’t gone viral, according to this 2015 article from Gizmodo.
Know Your Meme, as always, has the full story on Hinton and Dench’s viral story. The short explanation is that in 2016, Jamal Hinton shared pictures of a series of text chats in which Wanda Dench mistook him for her grandson and asked him to Thanksgiving dinner. “However, can I still receive a plate?” After exposing himself, Hinton inquired, to which Dench replied, “Of course you can.” That’s what grandmothers do… feed the whole family.”
Hinton and Dench have maintained a connection over the years, and the two have spent Thanksgiving together in recent years, with Dench now adding Hinton’s girlfriend and family to the celebrations. According to Variety, the two have amassed over 150,000 Twitter followers between them and have become minor online superstars.
The announcement of Netflix’s adaption was welcomed by the two. In a joint statement, Dench and Hinton stated, “We are pleased to share our tale with the world.” “We hope it encourages more individuals to seek out and develop relationships they would not have made otherwise.” We are extremely grateful to God for bringing us together through a misunderstood text message.”