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Actor and comedian Lil Rel Howery's movie credits include Free Guy, Dark Water, and Judas and the Black Messiah, but he may still be best known for his role as TSA officer Rod in Jordan Peele's 2017 terror tale Get Out. Now, Howery is portraying someone faced with another kind of horror in Hulu's The Mill (premieres Oct. 9), the trailer for which you can exclusively see above.
Courtesy of Hulu Lil Rel Howery in 'The Mill'
Set in a near-future hyper-capitalist America, The Mill finds the actor playing Joe, a rising star at Mallard, a mega-corporation whose market dominance surpasses Amazon and Apple combined. Devoted to his family and fixated on success, Joe's life turns into a nightmare when he wakes up in an open-air prison cell with no memory of how he got there. Bewilderingly, the prison cell is centered around an archaic grist mill. Surrounded by unexplained screams in the darkness and whispers from unseen cellmates, he begins to grapple with the chilling revelation: Mallard operates this prison and Joe is taking part in some "Advanced Career Training." Accused of underperforming, Howery's character is compelled to push the grist mill to meet a daily quota or face "termination."
"Today's American discourse is centered on labor and artificial intelligence," says director Sean King O'Grady in a statement. "Eight months ago, when we filmed The Mill, these discussions were hypothetical. Our film unexpectedly became relevant. But it's not just about AI or labor. Joe's tale isn't merely topical — it's universal. It's about feeling trapped in a system that takes more than it gives, feeling like a replaceable cog in a lifeless machine. Have you ever felt powerless or exploited in this way? Do you right now?"
O'Grady continues by saying that Howery "became Joe and brought him to life. He tapped into the times when he felt powerless, displaying raw vulnerability. Watching him was witnessing pure dedication as he transcended craft and touched the sublime."
The Mill is written by Jeffrey David Thomas and costars Pat Healy, Karen Obilom, and Patrick Fischler. The film premieres Oct. 9 on Hulu.
Exclusively watch the trailer for The Mill above.
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