Fresh off its premiere at the South By Southwest Film Festival — where it won the Audience Award in the “Headliners” category — comes word that Flamin’ Hot, the movie that is indeed about the invention of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, will be premiering on both Disney+ and Hulu on the same date. This will be a first shared premiere between the two streaming services. (Both. apps are owned by Disney.)
The movie, directed by Eva Longoria, tells the story of Richard Montañez (played by Jesse Garcia), a Frito-Lay janitor who, according to the official plot synopsis, “disrupted the food industry by channeling his Mexican-American heritage to turn Flamin’ Hot Cheetos from a snack into an iconic global pop culture phenomenon.”
Here was Longoria’s comment on the news about her film’s streaming premiere, via the press release:
I’m so excited for the world to see FLAMIN’ HOT on these two streaming platforms making this universal, inspirational story accessible to an even wider audience. Now everyone can celebrate the joy, power and heart of this film that also happens to uplift Latinos both in front of and behind the camera.
20th Century Studios had previously announced the film would premiere on only Hulu later this summer.
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While Montañez definitely contributed to the history of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, there is already some dispute about exactly how much credit he deserves for the creation of this popular snack food. 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.”)
But Flamin’ Hot is a movie, not a documentary. A certain amount of artistic license comes with the territory. Flamin’ Hot premieres simultaneously on Hulu and Disney+ on June 9.
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