The 'Fifty Shades' spinoff is nothing new -- it's the same idea the 'Twilight' author had years ago

Fifty Shades Of GreyYouTube / Universal PicturesIf the idea for ‘Grey’ sounds familiar, there’s a reason why.

Thursday, the anticipated “Fifty Shades of Grey” spinoff book, “Grey” was released.

The new novel from author E.L. James tells the the the same exact story from the 2011 erotica — college student Anastasia Steele falls for mysterious billionaire Christian Grey — but this time, it’s from the male’s point of view.

It sounds like a no-brainer.

Take a worldwide best-selling novel — the “Fifty Shades” trilogy has been printed in 52 languages and has sold more than 125 million copies — and tell the exact same story but from another perspective.

Women are already hot for billionaire Christian Grey, so why not get inside his dark, troubled mind and tell his story?

Grey fifty shades of grey companion book spinoffKirsten Acuna/Business InsiderThe cover for ‘Grey,’ a play no doubt on the famous ‘Mr. Grey will see you now,’ marketing that surrounded the film adaptation.

In theory, it sounds like an easy cash cow. It’s difficult to imagine why we haven’t already seen iterations of this done before with a similarly popular big series.

However, we nearly did.

Years before “Grey” hit shelves, “Twilight” series author Stephenie Meyer planned to release a book called “Midnight Sun.” The novel would have been the same story told in 2005’s original release but from the perspective of male lead, Edward Cullen.

Meyer was working on a draft for the book; however, after multiple chapters from the book were leaked online, Meyer ceased work on the book in 2008.

As an alternative, she made rough drafts of the first 12 chapters available on her site free for fans.

If you know “Fifty Shades” is nothing more than “Twilight” fan fiction, it makes the story of Meyer’s almost fifth book resonate even more.

“Grey” is essentially E.L. James’ “Midnight Sun,” but dirtier.

Telling a story from a male’s point of view isn’t something E.L. James is just doing — though she does seem to be the first author to execute on delivering a full complete book from the other sex’s perspective.

Divergent series author Veronica Roth’s “Allegiant,” the third book in her trilogy, is told from the viewpoints of both the male and female leads.

Roth also released five short stories told from the male lead’s POV between 2012 and 2014. These short stories were then strung together into a book called “Four,” the first name of the male lead.

“Grey” is available in stores and digitally Thursday, June 18.

NOW WATCH: Expert reveals how ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ could change your sex life

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.