Stephenie Meyer, author of the four books in the original Twilight series, announced Tuesday on Good Morning America that she has penned a new version of the story, with a slight twist — Edward and Bella are now Edythe and Beau.
That’s right, in Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined, which is available today as bonus material in the 10th anniversary edition of Twilight, the gender of the two main characters (played by Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in the film adaptations) has been swapped, and the book becomes the story of a female vampire and the human teenage boy she falls in love with.
Why the swap? “I wanted to do something fun for the 10th anniversary,” Meyer said on GMA. She also said that she was bothered by readers who said Bella seems like a damsel in distress.
“A question that had come up at a lot of signings and other things was about Bella being a damsel in distress. And it’s always bothered me a little bit, because anyone surrounded by superheroes is going to be in a bit of distress,” she said. “And so I thought if I switched it around a little bit to see how a boy does, and you know, it’s about the same.”
What changes when the genders change? Not too much. “The further you get in the more it changes because the personalities get different,” Meyer explained. “It’s just a love story, it doesn’t matter who’s the boy and who’s the girl.”
“It’s really very much the same thing. My hope is that maybe the younger readers may be introduced,” the author continued, noting that her original fans are 10 years older now.
Will we see a new book series out of this? A movie maybe? Not likely, said Meyers. “This is just one version of Beau,” she said when asked about further books. And as far as a new movie goes, “I don’t really see that happening.”
The 10th anniversary edition of Twilight containing Life and Death is available today online and in bookstores around the country. The front cover features the traditional Twilight image that fans know and love, but the Life and Death cover on the back swaps Twilight’s iconic red apple for a green one.
Fans may be disappointed that the release of a new Twilight novel was not Midnight Sun, which tells the story from Edward’s perspective. That manuscript has been shelved for years after it was leaked.
The original Twilight series spawned five movies starring Stewart and Pattinson, with a combined box office total of over $1 billion, according to Box Office Mojo.