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Since James Cameron’s Titanic premiered 25 years ago, one scene has been the subject of a sometimes heated debate: the demise of Leonardo DiCaprio’s floppy-haired ingenue, Jack Dawson.
In general, fans of the actor and movie obsessives have always contended that Jack didn’t have to die — he could have easily fit on the floating door that saved his love interest, Kate Winslet’s unhappy heiress, Rose DeWitt Bukater. The debate remains so potent that Cameron, who also wrote the screenplay, wants to put it to rest.
In an interview for the premiere of Avatar: The Way of Water, published by the Toronto Sun, Cameron indicated he’s putting arguments over Jack’s death to rest with an upcoming documentary. “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 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.”
Asked if he regretted killing off DiCaprio‘s character, Cameron said no, adding that Jack “needed to die.”
Cameron said Titanic is “a movie about love and sacrifice and mortality. The love is measured by the sacrifice.”
The Sun reported that Titanic would hit theaters again next February. The National Geographic Nat Geo cable network will broadcast Cameron’s documentary making his case for killing Jack.