It's been 25 years since Titanic was released, which means we've had 25 years of people pointing out that "Jack could have fit on Rose's door" and survived at the end of the film (spoilers, we guess).
It's long been thought by grumpy fans that when Jack finds Rose floating on a door in the Arctic Ocean, Rose could've scooched over and let Jack climb aboard to safety and, presumably, a lovely life together. Instead, Jack falls into the sea, giving the film a legendary bummer of an ending.
The scene has been long-parodied, memed and debated over, so with the film getting a 25th-anniversary special on National Geographic, director James Cameron set out to prove the haters wrong, in the most James Cameron way imaginable.
Could Jack have fit on the door with Rose? We settle the debate in "Titanic: 25 Years Later" tonight, Sunday, at 9/8c on National Geographic pic.twitter.com/rwwX4M8CKR
— James Cameron (@JimCameron) February 5, 2023
Cameron, who notoriously forced the Avatar: The Way of Water actors to film underwater for the movie's underwater shots, hired two actors to recreate Jack's death in a freezing pool and challenged them to find any way for the two to get on the door safely.
This included having them dress in Jack and Rose's costumes and monitoring their body temperatures throughout the experiment. If their body temperatures dropped to below the level of "clinical hypothermia" (below 95 degrees), then Cameron deemed the experiment a failure, as Jack would have died.
The experiment proved that only one of them could have stayed on the door at a time. While there may have been room for both, the door had insufficient buoyancy to hold them both up.
Cameron did admit that the only way they both could have survived is if they both kept their top halves on the raft while swimming with their lower bodies. Still, he stuck to his guns and said Jack's sacrifice and choice to not attempt something that would have jeopardized Rose's safety was in character.
"I should've made the door smaller," quipped Cameron, thinking back on his 25-year headache. Still, many Titanic fans likely feel that he could have made the door larger – and more buoyant – so the two romantic leads could have survived at the end of the film.
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