Eva Longoria is set to make her directorial debut with Flamin’ Hot, a Hulu-backed project chronicling the story of former Frito-Lay janitor and Mexican immigrant Richad Montañez who is credited by some with creating the iconic Flamin’ Hot Cheetos brand.
Starring Jesse Garcia as Montanez with support from Annie Gonzalez, Dennis Haybert and Matt Walsh, the film hits Hulu on June 9.
Now a retired executive, Montañez has claimed that during his time as a janitor at the Rancho Cucamonga Frito-Lay plant, he created the Flamin’ Hot formula after taking home Frito-Lay samples and combining them with traditional spices used in Mexican street cart food. He then pitched the new brand to the Frito-Lay CEO and executives, prompting them to move forward after successful test market runs throughout the United States.
As with most origin stories, there are discrepanies. The validity of Montañez’s claims were investigated in a May 2021 Los Angeles Times article, which concluded the Flamin’ Hot brand was created by multiple employees before being presented in test markets. Lewis Colock, one of the screenwriters for Flamin’ Hot, is confident the essence of the story remains accurate and won’t be sullied by any historical differences.
“The heart and soul and spirit of the story is true,” Colick told Variety. “He is a guy who should remain the face of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.”
Per the trailer, the story will cover several important cultural topics. There’s the struggle of minorities to achieve upward mobility in corporate settings, maintaining credibility amongst your people when doing so, and the importance of alliances with other minority groups within historically discriminatory corporate settings.
Watch the official first trailer below.