James Cameron to Settle Titanic Debate 'Once and for All'

Director teases analysis showing both Jack and Rose could not have survived on floating door
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2022 8:39 AM CST

James Cameron may be promoting his new Avatar sequel but he's still fielding questions about the ending of his 25-year-old blockbuster Titanic—questions he hopes to answer "once and for all" with an upcoming special. Asked recently whether he ever regretted letting Leonardo DiCaprio's Jack die, the director didn't hesitate. "No. He needed to die," he told the Toronto Sun, reiterating that it was an artistic choice. "It's like Romeo and Juliet. It's a movie about love and sacrifice and mortality. The love is measured by the sacrifice." But not only that, a "thorough forensic analysis" showed it would've been impossible for Jack and Rose, played by Kate Winslet, to both survive on a floating door in freezing cold waters, Cameron said.

That analysis, conducted with a hypothermia expert, will be explored in a National Geographic special airing in February, "coinciding with a 4K restoration of Titanic hitting theaters on Valentine's Day weekend," per Vulture. But Cameron hinted at the findings in advance. "We have done a scientific study to put this whole thing to rest and drive a stake through its heart once and for all," he said. "We took two stunt people who were the same body mass of Kate and Leo and we put sensors all over them and inside them and we put them in ice water and we tested to see whether they could have survived" through a variety of methods, Cameron continued. "The answer was, there was no way they both could have survived."

Winslet agrees. Though she thinks Jack could have fit on the door with Rose, "it would have tipped," she tells the Happy Sad Confused podcast. "It would not have stayed afloat." The TV show MythBusters in 2013 determined both Jack and Rose could have survived on the floating door if Rose's lifejacket was strapped underneath it for added buoyancy. But asking Jack to swim beneath the raft in 28-degree water and attach the lifejacket "in some way that it won't just wash out two minutes later" would "take you five to 10 minutes, so by the time you come back up you're already dead," Cameron told the Daily Beast in 2017. "Maybe after 25 years, I won't have to deal with this anymore," he told the Sun of the new analysis. (Read more James Cameron stories.)

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