‘Flamin’ Sizzling’ Screenwriter Defends Cheetos Film: ‘Sufficient of the Story Is True’

The screenwriter of an upcoming movie about Flamin’ Sizzling Cheetos defended the mission on Tuesday, after a Los Angeles Occasions report challenged the central character’s declare to have invented the snack product.

Lewis Colick argued that Richard Montañez, the hero of “Flamin’ Sizzling,” nonetheless has an inspiring story to inform of rising by the company ranks at Frito-Lay.

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“I believe sufficient of the story is true,” Colick stated. “The center and soul and spirit of the story is true. He’s a man who ought to stay the face of Flamin’ Sizzling Cheetos.”

Montañez has been claiming credit score for Flamin’ Sizzling Cheetos for years, in books, interviews and motivational speeches. Director Eva Longoria is ready to start manufacturing this summer season on “Flamin’ Sizzling,” primarily based on his life story.

However the Times report on Sunday challenged key parts of his story, and concluded that he didn’t invent the product. The story indicated that he labored on advertising and marketing of different Frito-Lay merchandise. The story attributed Flamin’ Sizzling Cheetos to a completely separate group of Frito-Lay workers within the Higher Midwest.

DeVon Franklin, a producer of faith-based dramas like “Miracles From Heaven” and “Breakthrough,” has been developing the project at Searchlight for a number of years. Colick, who has penned inspirational tales equivalent to “Charlie St. Cloud” and “Ladder 49,” has been concerned from the preliminary pitch stage.

Reached on Tuesday, Colick referred to as the Occasions story “a success job on a very high quality upstanding particular person who’s an inspiration to the Latino group for justifiable causes.”

“Did Richard embellish a bit bit? Was his reminiscence defective right here or there? Who is aware of,” Colick stated. “The reality is the product.”

Frito-Lay gave the Occasions a press release calling Montañez’s story an “city legend,” and saying that its personal investigation had concluded that he had nothing to do with the unique Flamin’ Sizzling Cheetos check market in 1990. Montañez defended his version of events in an interview with Selection on Sunday.

“All I can let you know is what I did,” he stated. “All I’ve is my historical past, what I did in my kitchen.”

Colick famous that Frito-Lay had cooperated within the manufacturing, giving him and Franklin a tour of the Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., facility the place Montañez labored.

“They laid out the pink carpet for us,” he stated. “There was no speak of, ‘You guys are writing a film a few man who had nothing to do with Flamin’ Sizzling Cheetos.’”

The Occasions reported that Frito-Lay alerted the producers to issues with Montañez’s story in 2019, however Colick stated he by no means heard about that. Colick had a number of conferences with Montañez to develop the story.

“The extra you speak to Richard, the extra you understand that is a unprecedented man who went by quite a bit,” Colick stated. “He’s not only a janitor who had a brainstorm.”

Colick stated that his tasks have usually tailored true tales, and the character of the medium requires bending some particulars to swimsuit the narrative.

“We’re not within the documentary enterprise,” he stated. “I’ve written a number of true tales, like ‘October Sky.’ Not each single factor within the story is strictly true. I all the time stand behind the essence of the story.”

Colick argued that the essence of Montañez’s story is true, although he didn’t vet it and doesn’t know who did. He famous that Frito-Lay govt Al Carey had vouched for Montañez, and that Carey had stated that with out him the product wouldn’t exist. Carey continues to again Montañez’s account.

Colick stated he didn’t know if the story must be modified earlier than filming, and that such choices are as much as Searchlight and Longoria. Longoria’s reps have declined to remark. Franklin’s didn’t reply to a request for remark.

One of many key scenes in Montañez’s story is a pitch assembly, during which he says he proposed Flamin’ Sizzling Cheetos to a room stuffed with greater than 100 folks, together with the CEO. The Occasions quoted former workers who stated the assembly by no means occurred.

“Who was on the assembly? I don’t know. I don’t care,” Colick stated. “Have been there 50 folks there? 100 folks? I don’t care. Did he do a presentation? I’m positive he did.”

“It’s only a nice story,” Colick added. “For it to be sullied this manner, it’s only a disgrace.”

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