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Josh Hartnett and Margarita Levieva will star in Barry Films’ crime thriller “Inherit the Viper,” which explores the prescription drug epidemic in West Virginia.

Anthony Jerjen is directing from Andrew Crabtree’s original script.  The project is produced by Michel Merkt (“Elle,” “Toni Erdmann”) and Benito Mueller (“The Whistleblower”) and executive produced by Wolfgang Mueller for Barry Films.

Hartnett and Levieva will portray siblings as they try to escape the spiral of violence that has held them captive since their father’s passing. Their characters deal with a region left behind by the economy, in which selling drugs has become their way of survival and a business that’s very hard to quit.

“’Inherit the Viper’ is a visceral story of a family fighting to escape its destiny,” said Merkt. “I am thrilled to be able to tell it on this third collaboration with the incredibly talented director Anthony Jerjen, whose career I have been following since its very inception.”

Mueller added, “The opioid drug epidemic has become an extremely relevant topic and we hope that Andrew Crabtree’s touching story will resonate with audiences worldwide, as a great thriller and also as a cautionary tale.”

Hartnett starred in Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful” and can next be seen in James Franco’s “The Long Home.” Levieva is  known for her role as Abigail ‘Abby’ Parker in HBO’s “The Deuce” alongside James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Jerjen’s credits include “Trained” and “The End.”

Hartnett is represented by UTA and Management 360. Levieva is repped by UTA and Silver Lining Entertainment. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.