James Cameron Finally Reveals Why Rose Didn't Share the Door With Jack at the End of 'Titanic'

James Cameron
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The director is happy to settle the question that has haunted fans for 20 years.

Titanic debuted in theaters 20 years ago, yet one question still bugs viewers: Why couldn't Jack have fit on the door with Rose after the ship sank? It sure looked like there was enough room.

Now, the film's director, James Cameron, is here with the definitive answer. And yeah, it's going to break your heart a little.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Cameron was asked directly, "Why doesn’t Rose make room for Jack on the door?"

To which he replied, "And the answer is very simple because it says on page 147 [of the script] that Jack dies. Very simple..."


Cameron laughed off the ongoing debate, saying, "I think it’s all kind of silly, really, that we’re having this discussion 20 years later."

"But it does show that the film was effective in making Jack so endearing to the audience that it hurts them to see him die," he continued.  "Had he lived, the ending of the film would have been meaningless. . . . The film is about death and separation; he had to die. So whether it was that, or whether a smoke stack fell on him, he was going down. It’s called art, things happen for artistic reasons, not for physics reasons."

The director is known for his scientific accuracy, and defended himself on the physics of having two people on the door versus one.

"I was in the water with the piece of wood putting people on it for about two days getting it exactly buoyant enough so that it would support one person with full free-board, meaning that she wasn’t immersed at all in the 28 degree water so that she could survive the three hours it took until the rescue ship got there," he revealed.

"And we very, very finely tuned it to be exactly what you see in the movie because I believed at the time, and still do, that that’s what it would have taken for one person to survive," he concluded.

This isn't the first time Cameron has tried to put the debate to rest. In a 2012 episode of Mythbusters, the team determined that both Rose and Jack could have fit on the door and survived. The Avatar director even made an appearance in the episode, but has since changed his tune and doubled down on the the fact that, for the story, Jack had to go.

"They're fun guys and I loved doing that show with them, but they're full of s**t," he told The Daily Beast earlier this year. 

So there you have it: Jack had to die so we could have a beloved classic we're still obsessed with 20 years later. 

For more on the movie's anniversary and the cast reuniting, watch the video below!