The first trailer for Texas-born Eva Longoria’s feature-length directorial debut, Flamin’ Hot, is here. The movie, produced by Fox Searchlight and made its world premiere at South By Southwest (SXSW) in March, is about Richard Montañez’s (Jesse Garcia) journey from factory janitor to the inventor Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
The teaser video shows glimpses of all the eras of Montañez’s life, from his childhood in a migrant labor camp to his foray into living on the street to working on Frito Lay’s factory floor to his pitch for what would become one of the world’s most popular and stain-prone snacks, the Flamin’ Hot Cheeto. It’s a good indicator of what viewers will get when they watch Flamin’ Hot, a feel-good biopic with humor for the whole family. If you’ve seen a biopic, it won’t surprise you much, but central to the appeal of Flamin’ Hot is that it honors Mexican American culture without reservation, something rarely seen in film and television.
Controversially, the claim that Montañez is the man responsible for inventing Flamin’ Hot Cheetos has been subject to scrutiny. In 2021, only a couple of months before the movie was set to begin filming, the Los Angeles Times published an investigative piece where Frito-Lay disputed that Montañez was responsible for Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. The snack corporation has since vowed support for Montañez, who did work his way up to vice president of multicultural sales and community promotions for the overall parent company PepsiCo., yet strayed from explicitly saying Montañez invented the spicy chip. During a Q&A at SXSW ahead of the film premiere in March, Longoria said that the truth of the claims doesn’t matter for the film. “We’ve never set out to tell the history of the Cheeto,” she said. “I don’t know if you guys would show up for that movie. This is the history of Richard Montañez, which happened to have a really big hand in the launch of this product.”
Flamin’ Hot begins streaming on Hulu and Disney+ on Friday, June 9.