Ongoing talks to reunite K-pop girl group IZ*ONE have reportedly broken down, according to a new report.
South Korean media outlet TenAsia claimed in a new report that discussions with CJ ENM – the media company that owns Swing Entertainment and Off The Record, both of which managed IZ*ONE during their time together – has fallen through. However, the publication did not cite a reason for the breakdown in talks.
However, a source from CJ ENM later confirmed to E-Daily that the IZ*ONE relaunch plans have fallen through. “Until recently, we spoke with the agencies while leaving various options open for consideration, but [IZ*ONE’s reunion] ultimately fell through,” they said, as translated by Soompi.
IZ*ONE consisted of members from a variety of labels and were formed through the reality competition Produce 48, under a two-and-a-half-year contract from October 2018 to April 2021. The 12-member act included trainees from several South Korean agencies, as well as two Japanese agencies.
Last month, CJ ENM had confirmed that the respective agencies of IZ*ONE members were discussing the possibility of reforming the girl group. “While we are currently in discussions with the members’ agencies and leaving open a wide variety of possibilities, nothing has been decided,” it said, as translated by Soompi.
That statement followed an update from the Parallel Universe Project – a crowdfunded initiative by fans who wish to relaunch the girl group – noted in an update to backers that it had received “favourable” responses from the various agencies of former IZ*ONE members regarding a reunion of the K-pop act.
However, CJ ENM also share that they would not be using the project’s funds to finance the group, should the reunion be successful. “Even if IZ*ONE does get back together and we move forward with the production of a new album, we plan to fund it ourselves,” it said.
CJ ENM had also reportedly approached the various agencies of former IZ*ONE members to discuss a possible re-launch in May 2021. The re-launch plan allegedly included potential concerts in Korea and Japan, as well as two brand-new digital singles.
However, the report noted that CJ ENM’s offer was more akin to an extension of the girl group’s promotional activities until their respective agencies had confirmed plans for the individual member, rather than a complete re-launch.