James Cameron's scientific Titanic study reveals that Jack could have survived

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Titanic
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios/Paramount Pictures)

James Cameron has revealed the results of his scientific study on Titanic – and it turns out Jack might have been able to survive after all. The debate over whether Leonardo DiCaprio's character could've fit on that floating raft alongside Kate Winslet's Rose has raged for years, but these new revelations might finally lay the argument to rest once and for all. 

In the first look at the National Geographic documentary Titanic: 25 Years Later with James Cameron, we see the outcome of a series of tests that involved getting stunt performers physically matching DiCaprio and Winslet and putting them in a seriously cold pool. 

In one case, they both manage to get on the raft together, but it leaves them partially submerged in the icy water, meaning Jack still would've been doomed. But, when both performers manage to get their upper bodies above the waterline, the Jack performer starts to shiver. "Out of the water, that violent shaking was helping him," Cameron says. "Projecting it out, he could've made it pretty long, like hours." 

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However, in that scenario, neither performer was as exhausted as Jack and Rose would have been – after all, they'd been on board the sinking Titanic for a considerable amount of time by that point, running up and down the decks, wading through the rising water, getting shot at, and finally clinging to the stern as it plunged into the freezing Atlantic. 

For one last test, the stunt performers re-enact the moment Jack saves Rose from someone who almost drowns her. Then, once both performers are on the raft, "Rose" hands Jack her life jacket as insulation. In that case, again, they both might last until the lifeboat returns looking for survivors. 

"Jack might've lived," Cameron says. "But there's a lot of variables. I think his thought process was, 'I'm not going to do one thing that jeopardizes her,' and that's a hundred percent in character.'" 

Jack is very committed to Rose's safety in the movie, so we have to agree that it seems extremely unlikely that he would've accepted her life jacket – or even attempted to get on the raft a second time, as, in the film, the first time he tries to join Rose, the raft tips upwards and dumps them both back in the fatally cold water. 

Titanic is headed back to theaters to celebrate the movie's 25th anniversary from February 10, while the National Geographic documentary will be released on February 5. In the meantime, check out our roundup of all of 2023's upcoming major movie release dates to plan the rest of the year's theater trips. 

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.