Fox Searchlight and DeVon Franklin are set to produce the film “Flamin’ Hot,” which will tell the true story of Richard Montanez, who rose from humble beginnings to a successful businessman when he created a food phenomenon — Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
Fox Searchlight nabbed the project in what was a highly competitive sale, with multiple studios vying for the project.
The film follows Montanez, the son of an immigrant, who grew up as a migrant farm worker picking grapes in the fields of Southern California before becoming a janitor at Frito-Lay. It was while working at the company that Montanez came up with the idea to create Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, transforming the Frito-Lay brand into a pop culture phenomenon and disrupting the entire food industry in the process. Now commonly referred to as the Godfather of Multicultural Marketing, it was that initial idea that would spark a billion-dollar brand and catapult him from janitor to elite corporate executive.
Franklin will produce the project through his Franklin Entertainment shingle. Lewis Colick will pen the script from the initial pitch, which he and Franklin developed with Montanez. Samuel Rodriguez will executive produce.
Anikah McLaren and Taylor Friedman will oversee for the studio.
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Franklin, who has a first-look film deal with 20th Century Fox, is also currently in pre-production on “The Impossible” for Fox 2000 with “This Is Us” actress Chrissy Metz set to star.
Montanez is repped by Paradigm. Franklin is repped by CAA and attorney John Meigs at Hansen Jacobson. Colick is repped by Paradigm and Sara Bottfeld at Industry Entertainment.