Even though the Marvel cinematic universe predates the DC extended universe, the latter is showing signs of deterioration, whereas the former is only building momentum. DC's struggles with constructing a rival cinematic universe to compete with Marvel truly began with their first crossover film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Since that gloriously mismanaged flick, DC has been playing catch-up ball. Over the last three years, barring duds like Wonder Woman 1984, DC began to offer the mildest form of competition through several competent and well-made films. Sadly, it seems like their good fortune is coming to an end.
Fans at San Diego Comic-Con noticed that DC Comics' film presence seemed disproportionately lacking compared to Marvel's overwhelming amount of teasers and trailers. The dearth of trailers caused fans to speculate about a host of DC projects that should either be in post-production or gearing up for release. Although The Flash and Aquaman 2 were the two films most conspicuous by their absence, fans also noticed the lack of information about the (formerly) upcoming Batgirl movie. According to Variety, Warner Brothers has pulled the plug on Batgirl's release after an "irredeemable" test screening.
Studio insiders insist the decision to axe "Batgirl" was not driven by the quality of the film or the commitment of the filmmakers, but by the desire for the studio's slate of DC features to be at a blockbuster scale. "Batgirl" was budgeted to screen in homes on HBO Max, and not for a major global release in theaters. The initial $75 million production budget for the project, which finished principal photography earlier this year and was in post-production, reached $90 million, due in part to COVID-related delays and protocols.