They are delicious, and spicy, and now, a major motion picture.
Flamin’ Hot, which purports to tell the origin of the popular sub-variety of Cheetos and other Frito Lay snacks, is officially coming to Hulu later this year. The film will first premiere as part of the South By Southwest Film Festival later this spring.
Here, per Searchlight Pictures, is the film’s official synopsis:
FLAMIN’ HOT is the inspiring true story of Richard Montañez, the Frito Lay janitor who channeled his Mexican American heritage and upbringing to turn the iconic Flamin’ Hot Cheetos into a snack that disrupted the food industry and became a global pop culture phenomenon.
Jesse Garcia plays Montañez, and the cast also incluldes Dennis Haysbert, Tony Shalhoub, and Matt Walsh. The film also marks the directorial debut of Eva Longoria.
Here are a few additional photos of the film, including one of Longoria holding aloft an exultant Flamin’ Hot Cheeto.
While the story of a janitor who changed the world of snacking is an irresistible premise for a story, it may be worth noting that some claim that Montañez’s story of inventing the Flamin’ Hot flavor is at least partly embellished. A 2021 Los Angeles Times article disputed his story, and quotes a Frito Lay spokesperson as saying “We value Richard’s many contributions to our company, especially his insights into Hispanic consumers, but we do not credit the creation of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos or any Flamin’ Hot products to him.” (The article does also quote one former executive who says “Without Richard, this thing [Flamin’ Hot Cheetos] would not be out there.”)
Upon closer inspection, the official synopsis above does not credit Montañez with inventing the snack food — it says he was the one who was able to “turn the iconic Flamin’ Hot Cheetos into a snack that disrupted the food industry.” I guess we’ll have to wait and see how these events play out onscreen. The Flamin’ Hot movie premieres on Hulu on June 9.
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