Aidan Quinn has joined Meryl Streep, Blair Brown and Chinese starLiu Ye on American Sterling Productions (ASP) and Saltmill Productions' drama DarkMatter.

Based on a true story about the cultural difficulties experiencedwhen a brilliant Chinese student comes under the tutelage of a US science professor,Dark Matter is beingfinanced by ASP. Myriad Pictures is handling worldwide sales.

Chinese theatre director Chen Shi-Zheng, who co-wrote the storywith Billy Shebar, makes his feature debut on the project. Ye starred in ThePromise and is currentlyfilming Curse of The Golden Flower for Zhang Yimou, which will be released in North and LatinAmerica through Sony Pictures Classics.

ASP president and chief operating officer Janet Yang is producingwith Saltmill's Mary Salter and Andrea Miller. Myriad's Kirk D'Amico and LindaChiu are serving as executive producers.

"Dark Matter is a cross-cultural story, a sort of Spaghetti Eastern," Shi-Zhengsaid. "It is about what happens when people from different culturesinteract in a highly competitive environment, and the rollercoaster ride ofexcitement, anxiety, and missed opportunity those interactions bringabout."

US-based ASP finances and produces features and television and isa division of privately-held banking, insurance, real estate, entertainment andtechnology group American Sterling Group.

New York-based SaltmillProductions is headed by Mary Salter and Andrea Miller and aims to develop andproduce projects that reflect significant historic, political or culturalexperience. This is the company's first production.