Eisenberg, Bartha in the 'Holy' land


Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Bartha are set to star as drug-dealing Hasidic Jews in Kevin Asch's comic drama "Holy Rollers."

The film, one of the first to emerge from the burgeoning "Jewsploitation" genre, is ripped from true-crime headlines and follows an impressionable youth (Eisenberg) from an Orthodox Brooklyn community. He's lured into becoming an Ecstasy dealer by a friend (Bartha) with ties to an Israeli drug cartel. Newcomer Danny Abeckaser is set to play the owner of a club where they do their decidedly unkosher business.

Set in 1999, Antonio Macia's screenplay was loosely inspired by real-life 1990s-era crimes where Hasidim were recruited as mules to smuggle drugs into the U.S. Production is slated to begin in the spring in New York.

"Holy Rollers" marks the feature directorial debut for Asch, who worked at production outfit the Shooting Gallery and went on to produce the feature "Point & Shoot."

Caro Entertainment's Cary Jones will produce alongside PS Pictures' Rob Profusek and Ryan Silbert. Julio Caro and Abeckaser will executive produce.

Eisenberg ("The Squid and the Whale") will soon appear in Greg Mottola's "Adventureland." Bartha ("Failure to Launch") recently wrapped "Shoe at Your Foot" and appears in "National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets" Abeckaser's upcoming credits include "Gardener of Eden."

Eisenberg is repped by WMA. Bartha is repped by ICM and Anonymous Content. Abeckaser is repped by CAA.