Arts & Entertainment

'Titanic' Director James Cameron Explains Why Jack Had to Die

So stop bugging him about the size of the door.
IMAGE Paramount Pictures

Titanic director James Cameron has dismissed the theory that Jack could have survived by climbing onto the door with Rosecalling it "silly" because the character was going to die, no matter what.

Leonardo DiCaprio's Jack succumbed to hypothermia at the end of the epic disaster movie, but when asked why Rose (Kate Winslet) didn't make room for her love interest, Cameron was firm in his response.

"The answer is very simple," he told Vanity Fair, "because it says on page 147 [of the script] that Jack dies. Very simple.

"Obviously it was an artistic choice, the thing was just big enough to hold her, and not big enough to hold him...I think it's all kind of silly, really, that we're having this discussion 20 years later. But it does show that the film was effective in making Jack so endearing to the audience that it hurts them to see him die."


"Had he lived, the ending of the film would have been meaningless.

"The film is about death and separation; he had to die. So whether it was that, or whether a smoke stack fell on him, he was going down. It's called art, things happen for artistic reasons, not for physics reasons."

And even if you wanted to dissect the buoyancy of the door, Cameron isn't having it.

"I was in the water with the piece of wood putting people on it for about two days getting it exactly buoyant enough so that it would support one person with full free-board, meaning that she wasn't immersed at all in the 28-degree water, so that she could survive the three hours it took until the rescue ship got there," he said.

"[Jack] didn't know that she was gonna get picked up by a lifeboat an hour later; he was dead anyway.


"And we very, very finely tuned it to be exactly what you see in the movie because I believed at the time, and still do, that that's what it would have taken for one person to survive."

That's that, then.

(Incidentally, it's not the first time Cameron has been asked about the subject, either.)

From: Digital Spy

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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