The film, which was released in 1997, was inspired by the historical sinking of the RMS Titanic. The shipwreck was explored against the backdrop of a forbidden romance between Jack (DiCaprio) and Rose (Winslet), whose different social classes created obstacles for their future as a couple.
In Titanic’s final act, Jack saves Rose and ends up dying in the cold water while they await a rescue team. The socialite is able to survive because she has her full body resting on a floating door, while her love interest is mostly in the ocean which leads to hypothermia.
Following the flick’s release, many people have questioned the legitimacy of the death scene — specifically whether the couple could have rested on the door together.
Director James Cameron slammed the speculation while addressing the film’s success. “The answer is very simple because it says on page 147 [of the script] that Jack dies. Very simple. Obviously, it was an artistic choice,” he told Vanity Fair in 2017 about the plot. “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.”
At the time, Cameron pointed out that Jack “had to die” because Titanic is “about death and separation.” He also noted that “had he lived, the ending of the film would have been meaningless.”
Winslet, for her part, revealed that she had the same theories as the viewers. During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2016, the Oscar winner argued that Jack “could have actually fit on that bit of door.”
Meanwhile, DiCaprio has continued to remain tight-lipped about his thoughts on the matter. While promoting Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie in 2019, the activist said he had “no comment” on the iconic scene.
He also agreed with Robbie when she referred to the moment as “the biggest controversy in modern cinema.”
Scroll down to see what the cast of Titanic has been up to: