Yesterday, CJ ENM confirmed reports that it would not be going ahead with plans to relaunch IZ*ONE—but this may not be the end of the road. In a new statement, the Parallel Universe Project team set up to bring IZ*ONE back earlier this year revealed they have a “Plan B” that’s already in the works.
When CJ ENM first revealed its intent to bring IZ*ONE back last month, the Parallel Universe Project team released a statement shedding some light on how the group’s disbandment went down to begin with. According to the team, CJ ENM had been discussing IZ*ONE’s possible extension since late 2020 and even planned to push ahead with a unit group after some agencies objected to the idea.
However, the Parallel Universe Project states that in March this year, CJ ENM internally concluded that they would not be proceeding with a relaunch or unit debut. As such, the Parallel Universe Project team focused its efforts on negotiating directly with the agencies, using one agency as a spokesperson to represent the fandom.
But then, while discussions were underway in May, CJ ENM suddenly began to propose its own relaunch proposal to the group’s agencies. The Parallel Universe Project team’s statement went on to reveal that after CJ ENM got involved, the members’ individual agencies did begin actively engaging in negotiations. On top of this, both the relaunch team and the agencies involved felt that CJ ENM taking the lead was the best way to ensure the quality of IZ*ONE’s future activities.
Of course, given how CJ ENM had let them down in March, the Parallel Universe Project team were not fully assured that the company would go ahead with their plans. “As we were suddenly betrayed before,” they said in a statement, “I don’t believe that we can just finish the project here and pray.” The statement went on to explain that they had extended the crowdfunding period to ensure that there would be an alternative plan if CJ ENM dropped out.
Lo and behold, the Parallel Universe Project team was right to be concerned. Yesterday, CJ ENM confirmed that their plan to reunite IZ*ONE has been canceled. “We had conversations with the agencies, leaving various possibilities open,” said CJ ENM in a statement, “But in the end, we were unable to reach a conclusion.” For many fans, this felt like the final nail in IZ*ONE’s relaunch plans—but it may not be the end just yet.
Just over a week ago, the Parallel Universe Project team issued a statement that they were “arranging a ‘Plan B’ to prepare for a situation similar to the one we had in March.” They also revealed that they have been meeting with the members’ individual agencies in person through a direct means of contact with their CEOs.
Now, in a new statement following the news of CJ ENM’s cancellation, it appears they’ll be going ahead with “Plan B.” The Parallel Universe Project team informed fans that they’re still not certain whether the members’ agencies were really unable to agree on IZ*ONE’s reunion or whether CJ ENM “just gave up.” Regardless, the team has been approaching the agencies involved with “Plan B” over the past week due to justified skepticism towards CJ ENM.
“I believe we can tell you the result of ‘Plan B’ before long.”
— Parallel Universe Project team
In the wake of the news, many WIZ*ONEs are convinced that CJ ENM’s sudden desire to relaunch IZ*ONE itself was nothing more than a “PR stunt” for Mnet‘s upcoming survival show, Girls Planet 999, which seeks to debut a similar temporary girl group. But now, it seems there may still be hope. While many fans feel jaded by the experience and are wary of holding out hope, the Parallel Universe Project team is certainly committed to its goal. As of now, crowdfunding has raised ₩3.22 billion KRW (about $2.84 million USD) to relaunch IZ*ONE from almost 22,000 Korean fans, with many international WIZ*ONEs ready to join the efforts when they can.