Granted, this Deadline headline yesterday sounded like an even more mangled version of Mad Libs: “Eva Longoria To Direct Cheetos Movie ‘Flamin’ Hot’ For Fox Searchlight & Franklin Entertainment.” A Cheetos movie? What was this, some sort of infomercial on the greatness of Flamin’ Hot, directed by the Desperate Housewives alum? Well, kind of, if we substitute “bio pic” for “infomercial.”
Longoria has a plethora of directing credits, starting with a few shorts and an episode of DH, moving on to shows like Jane The Virgin, Black-ish, and Grand Hotel, the series she currently stars in. Her first directed feature, 24-7, in which she also co-stars with Kerry Washington, is in pre-production.
So, as Deadline notes, “Longoria reportedly beat out multiple directors for the job after impressing Franklin and Fox with her authentic approach to portraying the inspiring story of Richard and Judy Montanez.” Richard Montanez was a Frito-Lay janitor who came up with the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos concept, and the rest is scorching, orange-red-dusted history.
Recent movies like The Founder and Joy previously crafted biographical movies out of business innovations; Flamin’ Hot also incorporates the immigrant experience, as Montanez was the son of a Mexican immigrant. Deadline points out that “only one Latina in the past 12 years has directed one of the top 1200 grossing films,” making Longoria a considerable trail-blazer herself.