James Cameron Commissioned A Scientific Study To Settle The Long-Running Debate Over Whether Jack Could Have Joined Rose On Her Makeshift Raft In “Titanic”

We can apparently stop blaming Rose for not scooting over.

The case is finally closed. Jack had to die for Rose to live after the Titanic sank.

Director James Cameron said in an interview with the Toronto Sun that a scientific study he commissioned for an upcoming special in February showed that two people could not remain on top of the floating door-turned-makeshift raft that Rose (Kate Winslet) used to survive the boat wreck in the 1997 film.

“We have done a scientific study to put this whole thing to rest and drive a stake through its heart once and for all,” Cameron said. “We have since done a thorough forensic analysis with a hypothermia expert who reproduced the raft from the movie.”

Cameron said the special on the findings will air in February, when an ultra high definition restoration of Titanic is scheduled to hit theaters.

“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,” the Oscar-winning director said. “Only one could survive.”

Jack’s fate in that film is arguably one of the most iconic deaths in cinema because of the tragic love story, but also because of the never-ending debate over whether Rose could have just scooted over and made room for him. Cameron, though, said Jack needed to die.

“It’s like Romeo and Juliet. It’s a movie about love and sacrifice and mortality. The love is measured by the sacrifice,” Cameron said. “Maybe after 25 years, I won’t have to deal with this anymore.”

Cameron has long expressed frustration with the discourse, calling it “stupid” in a BBC Radio 1 interview and saying “there’s no debate.” It didn’t help that, in a 2016 interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Winslet said she thought Jack “could have actually fitted on that bit of door.”

“Could Romeo have been smart and not taken the poison? Yes. Could he have decided not to bring his little dagger just in case Juliet might stab herself with it? Yes, absolutely. It sort of misses the point,” Cameron told BBC.

Cameron spoke to the Toronto Star to promote his latest film, Avatar: The Way of Water, which takes fans back to the fictional world of Pandora inhabited by the blue alien species known as the Na’vi. Cameron’s original Avatar remains the highest-grossing movie of all time globally, earning over $2.8 billion, according to Box Office Mojo. Titanic is the third.

Skip to footer