Home entertainment

Titanic director answers the question fans have been asking for 20 years

There’s one question that’s been irking Titanic fans for years, and now director James Cameron has finally answered it.


For fans of the Titanic, the movie is the ultimate tragic love story. Jack and Kate - a man and woman from opposite ends of the class structure, fall in love despite the odds - as they travel to a new life in America.

But after the ship they’re travelling in hits a huge iceberg in the Atlantic, the couple seem destined to drown together, just like thousands of their fellow passengers.

Luckily, quick-thinking Jack (played by Leonardo Dicaprio) grabs a large piece of debris for Rose (Kate Winslet) to lie on. But Jack, despite the door being evidently large enough for the both of them, remains bobbing in the icy water until he quickly dies from cold.

Director James Cameron has shut down critics of the scene 20 years after the film aired, telling The Daily Beast: “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."

He also hit out at Mythbusters who claimed both parties definitely could have fit on the debris, saying:

"OK, so let's really play that out: you're Jack, you're in water that's -2 degrees [celsius], 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 - 2 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.

“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 James did admit that perhaps the board could have been a little smaller to make the scene more believable.