LOS ANGELES — “Twilight” is getting a gender swap.
Author Stephenie Meyer has published a new book in honor of the 10th anniversary of the best-selling franchise, with the genders of the original protagonists switched.
Bella Swan’s (played by Kristen Stewart in the blockbusters) character is now a male named Beau and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) is a female named Edythe in the 442-page novel, titled “Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined,” available for purchase Tuesday. Meanwhile, werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) has become Julie in the book.
Meyer writes in her foreword to the anniversary edition of the novel that the gender bending twist was prompted by her desire to prove that Bella isn’t a “damsel in distress,” but a “human in distress.”
“It’s always bothered me a little bit because anyone surrounded by superheroes is going to be … in distress. We don’t have the powers,” Meyer said Tuesday on “Good Morning America.” “I thought, ‘What if we switched it around a bit and see how a boy does,’ and, you know, it’s about the same.”
“The further you get in, the more it changes because the personalities get a little bit different, but it starts out very similar and really, it really is the same story because it’s just a love story and it doesn’t matter who’s the boy and who’s the girl. It still works out,” she said.
Meyer was set to release “Midnight Sun,” a spinoff told from Edward’s point of view, years ago, before a draft of the book leaked online. Fans were hoping that it would be included in the bonus content in this anniversary edition, but Meyers notes in the foreword that she didn’t have the time to publish the story.
Her series of four young adult vampire romance novels have sold more than 150 million copies worldwide, while the five movies in “The Twilight Saga” grossed a cumulative $3.3 billion worldwide.
However, Meyer said she can’t envision a big screen adaptation of “Twilight Reimagined.”
“I don’t really see that happening and a lot of the people I’d put in it would be like Grace Kelly so it’s a little too late for some of my first choices,” she said.