Both Val Kilmer and Meryl Streep have signed on to appear in the debut feature from Chinese opera director, Chen Shi-Zheng. The film, entitled Dark Matter, tells the story of "a Chinese exchange student [played by heartthrob Liu Ye] who takes revenge after [his] hopes for a Nobel Prize are wrecked by internal school politics." Whoa. I have no idea how this group of people came together to make a movie - and about Nobel Prize bitterness, of all things, but it sounds pretty damn cool. It's always refreshing when mainstream American stars are willing to branch out and take a flyer on a completely unproven director, or a really weird script. Also hoping to take part in the adventure is cinematography's resident mad genius, Christopher Doyle. Since Doyle's presence automatically makes a movie 50% more interesting, this is exciting news indeed.

The film is being produced by Myriad Pictures and the brand new New York production house Saltmill. While Dark Matter is Saltmill's first film, the presence of Van Wilder 2: Rise of the Taj on Myriad's slate is sort of disconcerting - Taj and an untested Chinese director just don't come up together in conversation very often.