Fifty Shades of Grey is the first installment of the Fifty Shades trilogy about Anastasia Steele, a college student who begins a BDSM relationship with the young wealthy Christian Grey. Originally, Fifty Shades of Grey and their sequels were developed as a Twilight fan-fiction titled Master of the Universe. The book featured the characters of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight. After readers complained about the sexual themes in the story, James removed her story from the fan-fiction website and published it on her own website. Later she rewrote the story and renamed the characters.
Fifty Shades of Grey was published as an eBook and a print on demand paperback on May 2011. Thanks to word of mouth recommendation, the book became a phenomenon selling millions of copies. Later, the Fifty Shades trilogy was re-released in April 2012 worldwide on bookstores.
On August 1, 2012, Amazon announced that they had sold more copies of Fifty Shades of Grey than the entire Harry Potter series, making E.L. James the best-selling author, replacing J.K. Rowling, as the best-selling author.
The film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey premiered on February 13, 2015, with Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan playing the roles of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. The film was a huge blockbuster despite its negative reviews. The film adaptation of Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed are expected to hit theaters on 2017 and 2018.