Ever since the release of James Cameron’s Oscar-winning “Titanic” in 1997, there’s been a hotly contested debate among fans who believe that Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack could have survived instead of perishing in the icy waters had he simply climbed aboard the door that kept Rose (Kate Winslet) afloat — and, ultimately, alive.
“Titanic” director James Cameron has occasionally weighed in, but now he’s offering up the last word on the debate in an upcoming television special that he says takes a “forensic investigation” into the matter.
During a Friday appearance for National Geographic at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, California, Cameron, he announced the upcoming documentary “Titanic: 25 Years Later” and had some insight to share — including the fact that the piece of wooden debris in the film wasn’t actually a door.
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“A new investigation we’ve just done will settle this fan-based question about Jack and Rose and a piece of floating debris, which everyone calls a door,” Cameron said, as reported by USA Today.
“It’s, technically, not a door,” he said, noting that “it’s a piece of wood paneling from the first-class cabin.”
According to Cameron, stunt doubles will experience what Jack and Rose went through in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic by re-enacting those conditions in a New Zealand pool, with University of Otago hypothermia expert James Cotter overseeing the experiment.
READ MORE: Kate Winslet Weighs In On ‘Titanic’ Debate: Jack ‘Could Have Fit On That Door!’
“That actually plots out quite accurately according to the algorithms,” said Cameron of the “scientific approach” to settling the debate.
“We weren’t trying to prove or disprove anything, we’re just trying to say, ‘If you do this, does it make it better?'” he added.
“Titanic: 25 Years Later” airs Feb. 5 on National Geographic.