'Red Ken' Livingstone has expressed his intention to make a screen comeback in 2012. But there is cynicism in the film community following the collapse of his movie franchise in 2008.
One critic said bluntly:
"Ken's now over 60, he just can't move around the screen the way he used to. He'll struggle to cope in the fight scenes with Evening Standard journalists, not to mention the action-packed finale - battling Boris Johnson on the outside of the Gherkin".
Livingstone burst onto our screens as the hero GLC leader in 'From Russia with Socialism' (1981) and 'Redfinger' (1986). They saw him battling the evil 'Mrs Thatcher' and her terror network, 'the Conservative Party', who had taken over Parliament and were bent on British domination. Thatcher used her secret weapons 'the Sun' and 'the Daily Mail' to effect a number of political character assassinations and finally triumphed in an immortal final scene where she called Ken at City Hall and declared: "You're terminated!"
Producers decided to make a sequel in 2000 and 'The Man with the Golden Opportunity' was the result. It was felt that a more slick arch-enemy was needed for the 21st century and so 'Tony Blair' appeared as the baddie. Critics genrally agree that this sequel was not as good as the originals. Scenes where Ken goes rogue from the Labour party were felt to be especially implausible.
So popular was Blair that he was not killed off in 2001 or 2005 and returned in Ken's final movie 'You Only Serve Twice' in 2008. This final outing saw Ken trying to stop Blair from continuing a megalomaniac war in Iraq. In a blatant copy of Superman II Ken briefly turned bad, ordering bendy buses and attacking big cars with £25 daily congestion charges. At the end Ken was politically killed off by new villain 'Boris Johnson'. Who can forget Ken's immoratal final line before being dispatched by the electorate:
"You can't win Boris, if you strike me down I shall become more critical in the press than you can possibly imagine!"