Twenty-five years later, James Cameron is using a bit of science to determine if there was room for Jack on the door next to Rose in Titanic. For over two decades, fans of the film have wondered if Rose (Kate Winslet) and Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) would have had a chance of living happily ever after, had she just made a little room on the door, and he would not have died after floating for hours in the freezing water.
In a new National Geographic special, Titanic: 25 Years Later With James Cameron, the director uses a bit of science to test the waters.
In a clip from the series shared on Good Morning America, Cameron breaks down how he, two stunt people in Rose and Jack’s roles, and scientists, test four different scenarios.
First, Cameron and the scientists have the stunt people both get on the door. However, they are submerged in below-freezing water, proving that wouldn’t work. Next, the stunt actors are positioned with both of their bodies out of the water. As a result, violent shaking occurred, and it was determined Jack could have made it for hours.
However, in the third scenario shown in the clip, the stunt actors perform the actual fight sequence done by Jack and Rose in the moments leading up to Rose getting on the door — displaying how tired they would have actually been when it was time to make the determination. Rose then offers a life jacket to stabilize Jack, as he joins her. Still, his body would have had to recover from some sort of shock, but he would have possibly survived for hours.
With just the clip, it’s hard to determine the exact results. However, Cameron shared his thoughts during the process.
“Jack might have lived, but there’s a lot of variables,” Cameron says. “I think his thought process was, ‘I’m not going to do one thing that jeopardizes her.’ And that’s 100 percent in character.”
Fans are going to have to tune in to see the results. Over the years, Cameron has pushed back at the critics’ claims. In 2017, the director went on to offer a simple reason why Jack didn’t survive.
In 2012, Cameron appeared on an episode of Mythbusters, where the idea that Jack would have survived was confirmed. However, in 2017, the director disputed the facts.
During an interview with Vanity Fair, Cameron was asked directly, “Why doesn’t Rose make room for Jack on the door?”
He replied, “And the answer is very simple because it says on page 147 [of the script] that Jack dies. Very simple…”
During an interview with ET in honor of the film’s 20th anniversary, Cameron shared his overall thoughts on the film, and the importance of Jack and Rose’s story.
“I think there’s something timeless about just Kate and Leo as Jack and Rose. I actually feel at this moment in time that Jack and Rose exist almost separately from Kate and Leo,” he said. “Because Kate and Leo have gone on, and each one has played so many other characters and had these incredible careers. We love and appreciate them as actors for who they are and all the many parts that they’ve done. But it’s almost like Jack and Rose are frozen in time like in amber.”
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