James Cameron has revealed that Jack may have been able to live in Titanic.
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The director has avoided fan speculation about the tragic ending to his 1997 film being preventable for years. But, it seems that Leonardo Di Caprio‘s Jack could have perhaps survived to enjoy a happy-ever-after with Kate Winslet‘s Rose.
The news may come as a surprise to film fans, however, as the director categorically stated in December that tests had proven only one of his protagonists could survive. However, it seems that Cameron omitted one scenario that tests had highlighted – one where Jack might have been able to cling on to life.
The revelation comes in the upcoming National Geographic special Titanic: 25 Years Later With James Cameron. As per Variety, the special actually encourages the theory that Cameron could have ended the film without Di Caprio’s character dying.
The special shows the director and a team putting two stunt doubles, who are near-enough exact matches for his two leading stars in 1997, through a series of tests.
In the first test, Cameron disproves the fan theory that there was enough room on the raft for both Jack and Rose to survive. As the director states, though we can see there is enough room for “Jack and Rose to get on the raft, they’re now both submerged in dangerous levels of freezing water”.
The second test sees Cameron trying once again to fit both Jack and Rose on the raft. This test sees their bodies positioned so that their upper halves (which includes vital organs) remained out of the water. In this scenario the chances of both surviving increased.
Cameron remarks on this test: “Out of the water, [his body’s] violent shaking was helping him. Projecting it out, he could’ve made it pretty long. Like, hours.”
However, the issue with this scenario is endurance. The stunt people were well-rested and able to prop up their upper bodies out of the water for a longer period of time – unlike a traumatised and exhausted Jack and Rose.
The third and final test has Cameron asking the stunt people to perform all of the strenuous activity that Jack and Rose go through in the film in order to tire them out. And, the director also added an extra moment that is not included in the film: Rose gives Jack her life jacket.
Cameron explains: “He’s stabilised. He got into a place where if we projected that out, he just might’ve made it until the lifeboat got there. Jack might’ve lived, but there’s a lot of variables. I think his thought process was, ‘I’m not going to do one thing that jeopardised her,’ and that’s 100 percent in character.”
‘Titanic: 25 Years Later With James Cameron’ airs on February 5 on the National Geographic Channel. Meanwhile, Titanic returns to cinemas in a new 4K 3D restoration on February 11.