Eva Longoria, the actor/producer/director who is perhaps best known for portraying Gabrielle Solis on Desperate Housewives for eight years, has signed on to direct Fox Searchlight’s biopic about Flamin’ Hot Cheetos creator Richard Montañez. Flamin’ Hot will tell the story of how Montañez, the son of Mexican immigrant farm workers, started as a janitor at the Frito-Lay factory in Rancho Cucamonga, California and eventually became the “godfather of multicultural marketing.”
As the story goes, Montañez took a bunch of rejected, cheese-less corn puffs from the factory home and decided to add chile powder to them, as a nod to the recipe for Mexican elotes. Montañez was so pleased with the results that he decided to pitch his Cheetos recipe to the company’s CEO at the time, Roger Enrico. “I called him up, not knowing you weren’t supposed to call the CEO,” Montañez writes in his book A Boy, a Burrito, and a Cookie. The pitch was a success, and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos eventually became one of the brand’s most popular products. After rising to the executive level at Pepsi-Co, Montañez now spends his days giving motivational speeches and presentations on corporate diversity.
Longoria apparently “beat out multiple directors for the job,” per Deadline. While she is primarily known as an actor, Longoria has also directed episodes of Black-ish, The Mick, and Jane the Virgin, and she also recently signed on to direct a Kerry Washington movie called 24/7. Fox Searchlight announced Flamin’ Hot back in February 2018, but the company has not released any information about casting or release date yet.
With Flamin Hot’ and the McDonald’s Monopoly saga McMillions in the works, the future is looking bright for Hollywood-produced dramas inspired by incredible, real-life stories about the junk foods that bring us joy.
• Eva Longoria To Direct Cheetos Movie ‘Flamin’ Hot’ For Fox Searchlight & Franklin Entertainment [Deadline]
• How a janitor invented Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and became an exec at PepsiCo [CNBC]
• The Creation Story of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Is Becoming a Movie [E]