A Forensic Expert Has Proven Leonardo DiCaprio Couldn’t Survive at the End of Titanic

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With the release of the long-awaited sci-fi sequel Avatar: The Way of Water, film buffs are once again remembering just how massive most James Cameron projects tend to be. And back in 1997, there was none bigger and more ambitious than Titanic, the director’s epic romance and disaster movie inspired by the real-life tragedy.

Given that we all know the Titanic sank in 1912, you wouldn’t think that there would have ever been much of a debate surrounding the film’s ending—but you would be wrong. For 25 years now, people have been arguing over the fate of Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Jack, who froze to death in the Atlantic so that his true love Rose (Kate Winslet) could survive by staying afloat on a door from the wreckage of the ship.

“There was enough room on the door for both of them!” people have been exclaiming in tweets and blog posts. In fact, it’s so common a reprise that Cameron himself has now waded back into those ice-cold waters to settle the matter for good.

“We have done a scientific study to put this whole thing to rest and drive a stake through its heart once and for all,” the famously ornery director recently told the Toronto Sun. “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.”

titanic, leonardo dicaprio, kate winslet


But it was never just a matter of practicality. Cameron explained that Rose needed to suffer a personal tragedy amid the wider death and destruction in order for Titanic to have a satisfying narrative conclusion. “[Jack] needed to die,” he said. “It’s like Romeo and Juliet. It’s a movie about love and sacrifice and mortality. The love is measured by the sacrifice…Maybe after 25 years, I won’t have to deal with this anymore.”

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