Lil Rel Howery To Topline Hulu Sci-Fi Thriller ‘The Mill’
Words by Matt Grobar
DEADLINE: Lil Rel Howery (Get Out) will produce and topline The Mill — a majority solo performance sci-fi-thriller from 20th Digital Studio, Hulu Originals and Altar Rock Pictures, which will debut exclusively on Hulu in the U.S. and Disney+ internationally later this year.
The recently-wrapped, New Jersey-shot feature brings the in-demand actor back to Hulu following his successful collaboration with its Originals division and 20th Century Studios on the hit comedy Vacation Friends — also starring John Cena, Yvonne Orji and Meredith Hagner — which is soon to be followed up by the anticipated sequel, Honeymoon Friends.
Written by Jeffrey David Thomas (All American: Homecoming, Titans) and directed by Sean King O’Grady (We Need to Do Something), The Mill has Howery playing a white-collar businessman who mysteriously wakes up in an open-air prison cell containing only an old grist mill. Forced to work as a beast of burden to stay alive, he must find a way to escape before the birth of his child.
Pic is one of a number of horrors produced for Hulu by the genre-focused 20th Digital, joining a slate that includes Grimcutty, Matriarch, and the upcoming Clock and Appendage. Additional cast includes Scoot McNairy, of the Sundance 2023 father-daughter drama Fairyland, as well as Pat Healy (Station 19) and Karen Obilom (House Party).
Producers on the film are Josh Feldman, Howery, O’Grady and Jesse Ford. Barbara and Brooke Goldner are exec producing for Altar Rock Pictures, with David Worthen Brooks, Arbi Pedrossian, and Jenna Cavelle of 20th Digital Studio. Pic’s deal was brokered by Feldman on behalf of Altar Rock and Cavelle from 20th Digital.
Howery is an actor and comedian who’s been on a tear ever since Jordan Peele’s horror Get Out, in which he co-starred opposite Daniel Kaluuya, emerged as a bona fide pop culture phenomenon. He’s currently in production on Code 3, a buddy action-comedy set in the world of paramedics, which has him starring alongside Rainn Wilson and Aimee Carrero. He can be seen at present in Rian Johnson’s acclaimed case-of-the-week mystery series Poker Face for Peacock and will next be seen in the Tony Goldwyn-directed comedy Inappropriate Behavior, as well as Honeymoon Friends and numerous other projects.
O’Grady’s debut feature, the horror We Need to Do Something, was released by IFC Midnight in 2021 after premiering at Tribeca. He’s otherwise best known for producing acclaimed indies like I Love My Dad, Dinner in America and In A World…, among other award-winning titles.
Altar Rock is repped by UTA and Weintraub Tobin; O’Grady by Lit Entertainment Group and Felker Toczek Suddleson; Thomas by MetaMorphic Entertainment and Del Shaw Moonves; Howery by UTA, Fourth Wall Management and Cohen & Gardner; McNairy by UTA and The Group Management; Healy by Gersh, Luber Roklin Entertainment and Jackoway Austen Tyerman; and Obilom by A3 Artists Agency, Entertainment 360 and Del Shaw Moonves