Evangelion: 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon A Time (Shin Evangelion Gekijō-ban :||) the final installment in the film series was originally set to be released in Japanese theaters on January 23 but rising COVID-19 cases have led to the film receiving another delay. Currently, there is no new release date for the film.
The news comes after Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 was previously delayed from its original release date of June 27.
Directed by Hideaki Anno and produced by Studio Khara, the film serves as the final installment in the Rebuild tetralogy, which is a retelling/continuation of the original Neon Genesis Evangelion anime television series. Since the original anime series premiered in 1995, there have been various compilation films and retellings of the original series- all with slight to significant variations.
Due to the fact that the series ends with the protagonist seemingly rebooting the universe to redo the struggle with giant, enigmatic aliens called Angels, a rather interesting fan theory has arisen. At several points, the protagonists makes several peculiar statements about "next time" or "this time" that fans are convinced is an indication that the that the compilation films they're watching are a "time loop" or "rebooted" depiction of the events in the original anime series.
While there's never been a definitve statement on this theory from Anno or Studio Khara, mecha fans are hopeful that 3.0+1.0 provides a clear answer.
Japan's state of emergency due to a new wave of COVID-19 has resulted in movie theaters reducing their capacity by 50% and to close by 8PM. Instead of releasing Evangelion: 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon A Time under such conditions, the film has simply been delayed.