Dust off your old Kingpin/Michael Clarke Duncan soapboxes; a black man has been signed to play a white character in G.I. Joe. Marlon Wayans is now on board as Ripcord who, if you had his file card handy, you’d recall is just Wallace Weems when he’s in the shower. That’s a DC Comics reject name if I’ve ever heard one. Weems is a HALO jumper in the Joes, but in another life he could have made a great Flash or Green Arrow sidekick.

Of course, the assholes who made a big deal out of Michael Clarke Duncan’s race with respect to the Kingpin probably won’t care about this role much, because Ripcord is decidedly a secondary character.

Or is he? Variety calls him ‘leader of the military unit’, which is a serious promotion for the character previously famous for falling for a babe named Candy whose dad turned out to be a Cobra Crimson Guardsman. (And yes, I looked that up. If I knew something that deeply stupid I’d happily cop to it, but I didn’t.) The trade also says the story is set ten years in the future and will begin shooting next month in LA. Choose which factoids to believe.

And speaking of the (king)Pin, far more interesting is the mention that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is also in talks to join the flick. Having just watched Brick again a couple of days ago (the East Atlanta Plague of 2008 had me binging on a diet of familiar great films while I hacked for a few days) I’m thrilled to see that guy in just about anything. If he signs onto Joe, I might even get interested in the flick.