In the years since Titanic‘s release back in 1997, the ending of the film has been the source of much debate.
That’s because there are quite a lot of films fans out there that believe Kate Winslet’s Rose DeWitt Bukater could have actually helped to save Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack Dawson at the conclusion of the romantic drama. An Imgur image showing that there was plenty of room on the wooden plank for both Rose and Jack in Titanic even went viral back in April 2012. Instead, though, he remained in the freezing water and died of hypothermia, while Rose remained buoyant, was saved, and went on to live a long and happy life.
Because of Titanic’s immense popularity, which saw it ultimately gross $2.187 billion at the box office and win 11 Academy Awards, James Cameron is still asked about whether or not there was room for Leonardo DiCaprio on the plank.
That was the case when the Abyss and Aliens director recently sat down to chat to the Daily Beast, as the interviewer insisted that Leonardo DiCaprio could have squeezed onto the piece of wood. To which James Cameron responded with the following.
“[Laughs] We’re gonna go there? Look, it’s very, very simple: you read page 147 of the script and it says, ‘Jack gets off the board and gives his place to her so that she can survive.’ It’s that simple. You can do all the post-analysis you want.”
James Cameron did reveal how Jack Dawson could have survived Titanic, though, as he explained that if the character had lifted his “upper body out of the water” then he could have maybe lived long enough to be pulled out of the freezing cold water by a boat.
“His best choice was to keep his upper body out of the water and hope to get pulled out by a boat or something before he died.”
But these remarks only came after he’d extensively detailed why it was nearly impossible for Jack Dawson to survive to the conclusion of the film. During his explanation, James Cameron even debunked a past episode of Mythbusters that tried to show how both Jack and Rose could have both lived.
“So you’re talking about the Mythbusters episode, right? Where they sort of pop the myth? OK, so let’s really play that out: you’re Jack, you’re in water that’s 28 degrees, your brain is starting to get hypothermia. Mythbusters asks you to now go take off your life vest, take hers off, swim underneath this thing, attach it in some way that it won’t just wash out two minutes later—which means you’re underwater tying this thing on in 28-degree water, and that’s going to take you five to ten minutes, so by the time you come back up you’re already dead. So that wouldn’t work.”
This isn’t the first time that James Cameron has been forced to defend the finale of Titanic.
Back in 2012, he spoke to IGN, via The Hollywood Reporter, about the reason why Jack didn’t join Rose on the wooden plank, insisting that it was merely a matter of “buoyancy.”
“Actually, it’s not a question of room, it’s a question of buoyancy. When Jack puts Rose on the raft, then he tries to get on the raft. He’s not an idiot, he doesn’t want to die. And the raft sinks and kind of flips. So it’s clear that there’s only enough buoyancy available for one person. So he makes a decision to let her be that person instead of taking them both down.”
James Cameron continued by insisting that if they’d both made it onto the plank then they would have struggled to balance it, and even if they did it would have been “half in and half out of the water,” which would have resulted in both of their deaths, instead of just his.
[Featured Image by 20th Century Fox]