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James Cameron Refutes Mythbusters’ ‘Titanic’ Claim: Board Wouldn’t Hold Jack

Twentieth Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox

The end of 1997’s Titanic, the romance starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet that won 10 Oscars, has been a much-contested subject over the past 20 years. The debate of whether DiCaprio’s doomed Jack — who freezes to death in the unforgiving ocean while Winslet’s Rose floats to safety on wreckage — could have also squeezed onto the makeshift floatie is a fiery one, stoked by IMDB message boards and the ongoing back-and-forth of Twitter.

In fact, back in 2012, urban legend-testing show MythBusters found a way the two could’ve survived, saying they could’ve tied lifejackets to the door to keep them both afloat (watch below). Titanic director James Cameron is well aware of MythBuster‘s findings, deeming them “fun guys” but ultimately “full of sh—.” It looks like SOMEBODY doesn’t like their art second-guessed!

“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. You can do all the post-analysis you want,” Cameron told the Daily Beast on January 29.

Of the MythBusters segment, Cameron goes into greater detail about why it makes sense that Jack dies and let’s not overthink this or talk about it ever again:

OK, so let’s really play that out: you’re Jack, you’re in water that’s 28 degrees, 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 28-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. So that wouldn’t work. 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. They’re fun guys and I loved doing that show with them, but they’re full of sh—.

Read Cameron’s full Daily Beast interview, in which he also explains why he thinks Donald Trump’s actions are having a Titanic-like effect, at the Daily Beast.

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