EXCLUSIVE: Multi-hyphenate Eva Longoria has landed the directing job for Flamin’ Hot, the Fox Searchlight biopic about Richard Montanez, who created the spicy Flamin’ Hot Cheetos snack. DeVon Franklin will produce the pic under his Franklin Entertainment label, which is currently under a production deal at Fox.
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 rose from humble beginnings to achieve the American Dream: The son of a Mexican immigrant, Richard was a janitor at Frito-Lay when he came up with the idea for Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. His creation, inspired by the flavors of his community, revitalized the company and disrupted the food industry, creating a pop culture phenomenon that continues today.
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Charlie St. Cloud and October Sky scribe Lewis Colick penned the script. Zahra Phillips is overseeing the project for Franklin Entertainment, while Taylor Friedman will represent the studio. Samuel Rodriguez is the executive producer.
Longoria is also attached to direct and produce Universal’s 24/7, which she stars in with Kerry Washington, and is producing My Daughter’s Quinceañera also at Universal. It’s notable: Only one Latina in the past 12 years has directed one of the top 1200 grossing films.
She also has several projects in development under her production banner Unbelievable Entertainment, including A Class Apart at HBO and Lucky Boy, which has Nisha Ganatra attached to direct. Longoria can currently be seen in front of the camera starring in Paramount’s live-action Dora the Explorer.
Franklin Entertainment’s forthcoming slate includes a Kirk Franklin biopic, which is set up at Sony, and a remake of the 1975 coming-of-age drama, Cooley High.
Longoria is repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners; Franklin by WME and Hansen Jacobsen. Montanez by Paradigm; Colick by Paradigm and Industry Entertainment.
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