After 25 years of denial, numerous fan debates, and a few scientific reenactments, Titanic director James Cameron has finally admitted that Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) might have been able to survive the maritime disaster — though not necessarily by climbing up alongside Rose (Kate Winslet) on the infamous door.
Cameron revisited the debate in the upcoming National Geographic documentary Titanic: 25 Years Later with James Cameron. Working with a team of scientists and two stunt performers, Cameron conducted experiments recreating what star-crossed lovers Jack and Rose went through on the night the Titanic sank, as well as well as solutions they could have tried.
While we got our first look at these experiments in a sneak peek from National Geographic two weeks ago, new footage shared on Good Morning America shows Cameron’s conclusion. It seems that if the couple had both used the door to keep just their upper bodies out of the water, and if Rose had given him her life jacket to help keep him warm, Jack would have had a much better chance at survival.
“Jack might have lived, but there’s a lot of variables,” said Cameron. “I think his thought process was, ‘I’m not gonna do one thing that jeopardises her.’ And that’s 100 percent in character.”
Titanic: 25 Years Later with James Cameron will arrive Feb. 5 on National Geographic.