Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack couldn’t have survived Titanic sinking, James Cameron ‘proves’

Director says he commissioned a scientific study that shows the star’s character could not have survived the floating-door scene with Kate Winslet’s Rose

James Cameron says he has scientifically proved that Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Jack could not have survived Titanic’s infamous “floating door” scene with Kate Winslet’s Rose.

In an interview with Postmedia, Cameron said that he had commissioned “a scientific study to put this whole thing to rest and drive a stake through its heart once and for all”. Jack’s fate has aroused considerable discussion since the film’s release, in 1997; Rose escapes the catastrophic sinking of the ill-fated ocean liner, which was built in Belfast, by climbing on to a wooden panel while Jack dies of hypothermia in the freezing sea, as the panel is supposedly unable to also bear his weight.

Cameron said: “We have since done a thorough forensic analysis with a hypothermia expert who reproduced the raft from the movie ... We took two stunt people who were the same body mass of Kate and Leo and we put sensors all over them and inside them and we put them in ice water and we tested to see whether they could have survived through a variety of methods – and the answer was, there was no way they both could have survived. Only one could survive.”

The results of the study will be shown on National Geographic when Titanic is rereleased in February 2023.


According to Cameron, Jack “had to die” for the purpose of the story. “It’s like Romeo and Juliet. It’s a movie about love and sacrifice and mortality. The love is measured by the sacrifice.” On its release in 1997, Titanic became the highest grossing film of all time, before being overtaken by Cameron’s 2009 release Avatar. That film’s sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, has just been released.