It can sometimes feel like they'll make a movie out of anything -- apps, memes, whatever falls out of Michael Bay's pockets during a pitch meeting. And that cultural debris is about to coated with a fine orange dust, what with the upcoming Cheetos movie, based on the #1 snack for keyboard warriors and the perennially high. But defying expectations, it might not just be good, but even great, a film that could heal a fractured nation with a flamin' hot tale of the American dream.
According to Deadline, Fox is going full steam ahead on Flamin' Hot, having just signed Eva Longoria to direct. But despite everything in that last sentence, Flamin' Hot won't be some cynical low-effort cash-in on the recent KFC Cheetos sandwich craze, like something about CGI cornmeal puffs with Patrick Stewart as the voice of the Flaming Hot Chipotle Ranch Cheeto. Instead it'll be a serious biopic about the creation of the iconic spicy Cheetos flavor, which somehow is an actual inspirational story that might make you cry harder than accidentally wiping Cheetos dust in your eyes.
Flamin' Hot is about Richard Montanez, a janitor who smuggled home a plain Cheeto, dusted it with a traditional blend of Mexican chili powder, and invented the first Flamin' Hot Cheeto, like a junk food Alexander Fleming. Together with his wife Judy, Montanez managed to convince the executives at Frito-Lay's to take a chance on his Cheetos, which proved so popular that they saved the struggling company and launched Montanez to riches and fame, his name forever wiped on the cargo pants of snack history.
So not only is it an inspirational biopic, but it's an inspirational biopic of the son of a fruit-picking Mexican immigrant who saves American jobs by merging two cultures into one world-conquering snack. An inspirational biopic directed by a high-profile Latinx woman in an industry where they are criminally underrepresented. That's exactly the kind of movie the Academy will risk getting their Oscars all dusty and weirdly smelly for. Even more importantly, in our current climate, this Cheetos movie, of all things, might close a racially charged divide, reminding people all over that excessively orange things can be a force of good in their lives, and not just a force of evil.
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