Skip to main content

James Cameron Is Going To Ridiculous Lengths To Try To Put the ‘Titanic’ Door Debate To Rest

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack and Kate Winslet as Rose in the Titanic door scene.

James Cameron is desperate to prove, once and for all, that Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose (Kate Winslet) could not both have possibly survived in Titanic. Titanic premiered in 1997 and is a romantic drama set on the passenger liner, Titanic, which sank in 1912. After Rose and Jack strike up an unlikely connection, the two desperately attempt to survive the sinking of the ship. Amidst the ruins of the ship, the pair find a door floating in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. However, the door seemingly only has enough room on its surface to fit one passenger.

Recommended Videos

As a result, Rose gets on top of the door while Jack remains partially in the water. After ensuring Rose is safe on top of the door, he makes her promise to get to safety. While the two wait for a lifeboat to save them, Jack tragically dies of hypothermia. However, Rose is rescued and ends up surviving. Following its premiere, Titanic gained high critical acclaim. To this day, Titanic is the third highest-grossing film of all time. It has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry and won 11 Oscars at the 70th Academy Awards.

However, over the years, a debate has arisen about whether Jack actually had to die in Titanic. While it is a vital plot point that adds to the underlining love story, some viewers have since claimed that it wasn’t necessary. Experiments from math students and MythBusters alike have alleged that both Jack and Rose could have survived Titanic. Meanwhile, it wasn’t an extravagant rescue plot that needed to take place to ensure the outcome, but rather Rose merely needed to move over, let Jack on the door, and they would have both lived.

James Cameron wants to put the debate to rest

Two and a half decades later, after multiple challenges, Cameron is still desperate to prove that he was right and is going to ridiculous lengths to do so. While promoting his latest film, Avatar: The Way of Water, Cameron revealed that a ‘scientific study’ had been constructed to prove that there’s no way Jack could’ve survived at the end of the Titanic. He stated:

We have since done a thorough forensic analysis with a hypothermia expert who reproduced the raft from the movie and we’re going to do a little special on it that comes out in February. 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 and the answer was, there was no way they both could have survived. Only one could survive.

After hearing Cameron’s statement, we have a few questions. Like, you know, what exactly does Cameron mean that he put sensors “inside them?” The science experiment will run on National Geographic in February of next year so that Cameron can put the debate to rest. Cameron has been trying to prove himself right since at least 2017 which is when MythBusters, as well as a group of teen girls, used math and science to allege that there was enough room for Jack on the raft, as long as the couple had affixed their life jackets to the makeshift raft.

Over the years, even Winslet and DiCaprio have switched their positions, expressed their doubt, or simply refused to comment on the age-old debate. In reality, the answer isn’t really all that important. Titanic isn’t in any danger of losing its legacy. If anything, the debate adds to the iconic nature of the film as viewers continue questioning and investigating its details. There’s also the question if Cameron actually can prove his point and recreate the exact circumstances of the film, and why it is so important to him 25 years after the fact to prove himself right.

(featured image: Paramount Pictures)

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]


Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is an SEO writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, YA literature, celebrity news, and coming-of-age films. She has over two years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue: