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James Cameron says he can prove either Jack or Rose would have died in 'Titanic'

The director of the 1997 blockbuster (and "Avatar") has some facts for fans.
/ Source: TODAY

Sure, Rose and Jack's loving hearts might have gone on in the 1997 blockbuster "Titanic," but the film's Oscar-winning director James Cameron is pretty certain at least one of their bodies would have given out.

As he told Postmates in a new interview to promote "Avatar 2: The Way of Water," Cameron has brought in scientists to explain that one of the pair would never have survived the freezing cold waters after Titanic went down, even with a makeshift raft.

"We have done a scientific study to put this whole thing to rest and drive a stake through its heart once and for all," he said, referring to the many years of fan theories that insist one or both of the characters (played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet) could have made it.

Director James Cameron on set with Kate Winslet as Rose and Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack in "Titanic."
Director James Cameron (l.) on set with Kate Winslet (Rose) and Leonardo DiCaprio (Jack) in "Titanic."Alamy Stock Photo

In the film, Jack and Rose survive the sinking of the massive oceanliner, but miss out on getting in a lifeboat. They manage to find a floating piece of wooden debris that's often called a door (but isn't), only to discover that if both try to get on it, the item will flip over. Rose climbs on board at Jack's urging, holding on to Jack's hands, and passes out. When she comes to, Jack is still with her physically, but he has died. Rose then has to attract the attention of the rescue boats, and swims to a dead sailor who has a whistle in his mouth. Blowing it herself, she is found and saved.

That's a lot of ifs, and Cameron says he's not hopeful at all that either of them would have made it. Now, he adds he has the study to prove it.

"We have since done a thorough forensic analysis with a hypothermia expert who reproduced the raft from the movie and we’re going to do a little special on it that comes out in February (2023)," he says in the interview.

"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," he adds. "Only one could survive."

This won't be the first time someone tested the theory; in 2017 Cameron said he would work with the "Mythbusters" team to test it out, but their conditions (and their piece of debris, which was a door) weren't precisely accurate.

In the end, though, it wasn't really the freezing water, or Rose taking up all the room on the debris that killed Jack. It was something known as story necessity.

"(Jack) needed to die," says Cameron. "It’s like Romeo and Juliet. It’s a movie about love and sacrifice and mortality. The love is measured by the sacrifice."

"Titanic" is set to return to theaters for Valentine's Day 2023, and at that time, Cameron's study and the results should run as a special on National Geographic. And perhaps that may end the speculation.

"Maybe … maybe … after 25 years, I won’t have to deal with this anymore,” Cameron told the publication.

We're not holding our breath!