No doubt that the 'Terminator' franchise hasn't had the same fortunes as other sci-fi franchises in recent years.
Following the genre-defining masterpiece that was 'Terminator 2: Judgment Day', you had the utterly banal 'Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines', followed by the spotty-at-best 'Terminator: Salvation', followed by the don't-even-bother 'Terminator: Genisys'.
Between these, you also had 'Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles', which actually wasn't half-bad and even had Shirley Manson from Garbage in it at one point, and various comics, videogames and the like to keep the thing moving. However, none of them ever reached critical mass and even with a heavy-hitter cast in all attempts, none of them worked.
This time around, however, James Cameron - the writer and director of the two original movies - is back to try and right the ship, and by his own description, will completely disregard the movies that followed 'Terminator 2: Judgment Day'. More pointedly, however, is that Cameron has said he has two more movies mapped out - provided 'Terminator: Dark Fate' does well.
As Cameron explained to Deadline, the trilogy came about while he and his writing team of David S. Goyer, Billy Ray, Josh Friedman, Charles Eglee and Justin Rhodes were trying to break the story and come up with a pitch for Linda Hamilton.
"We spent several weeks breaking story and figuring out what type of story we wanted to tell so we would have something to pitch Linda. We rolled up our sleeves and started to break out the story and when we got a handle on something we looked at it as a three-film arc, so there is a greater story there to be told. If we get fortunate enough to make some money with 'Dark Fate' we know exactly where we can go with the subsequent films."
Interestingly, another aspect of the process was that James Cameron went back and actually watched the subsequent movies - to see exactly where they went wrong. As he believes it, the issues with them come from something specific to the franchise itself - time, and moving around in it and making it complex.
By all accounts, the approach this time out seems to be almost more in line with JJ Abrams' successful reboot of 'Star Trek', wherein there was a hard, clean cut from what came before and an overall cleanliness of purpose to it. "Let’s keep it simple in the relative unity of time," Cameron explained. "With the story, let’s have the whole thing play out in 36 hours or 48 hours. In the first two movies everything plays out in less than two days in each one so there’s energy and momentum."
Given how the response to the trailers so far for 'Terminator: Dark Fate' have been somewhat lukewarm, the hope is that it's a case of the movie being far better than the trailer.
'Terminator: Dark Fate' arrives in Irish cinemas on October 23rd.