According to Korean media outlet YTN star‘s investigations, Kim Minju, formerly of IZ*ONE, had been in discussions with Urban Works and HYBE Labels regarding her future.It was previously reported that HYBE Labels had been trying to recruit former IZ*ONE members, including Kim Minju. After discussions, she decided on pursuing a career as an actress rather than as an idol.
It was reported that not only has Minju been practicing her acting, she has also been auditioning for various works. Despite this, it was said that HYBE had consistently tried to recruit her for their girl group, leading to Minju being placed in a tough position. A staff from the industry stated that HYBE had indeed been set on scooping her up and had contacted Urban Works, her current company, up to September 2021. However, Urban Works and firmly rejected HYBE’s offer by stating that they would be respecting Minju’s decision.
It was stated that Minju had been receiving questions during auditions about her intentions for her future as well, as many directors had heard news about her pending position between HYBE and Urban Works back then. It was reported that Minju had felt taken aback at the news reports about her potentially being recruited by HYBE. A staff member firmly stated that Minju has no intentions of promoting as an idol and even when she had appeared on Produce 48, she had been training as an actress.
Although Minju had entered her company as an idol trainee, she had turned her path to acting after discussions. Around that period of time was when the recruitment offer for Produce 48 came in, and her company had asked her to appear in the show given her background as an idol trainee. She passed the auditions and later on became a member of IZ*ONE after votings. After promotions for IZ*ONE concluded, Minju is firm in her career path as an actress and hence rejected all offers from HYBE.
As for the other IZ*ONE former members, while Kwon Eunbi, Choi Yena and Jo Yuri are pursuing solo careers. Sakura and Chaewon were rumored to have joined HYBE Labels while they continued to try to recruit Minju. Jang Wonyoung and Ahn Yujin are set to debut in a new girl group with Starship Entertainment while Hitomi and Nako have returned to Japan. Chaeyeon, who recently appeared in Street Woman Fighter, will remain with WM Entertainment. Kang Hyewon will be pursuing an acting career.