‘Titanic’: How Neil deGrasse Tyson Got James Cameron to Change the Film
Neil deGrasse Tyson is known for spreading scientific knowledge to the masses. He’s also been very open about his feelings on popular films. Fans of Tyson know how he often discusses scientific inaccuracies in science fiction movies. Titanic isn’t a science fiction film, however, Tyson also had a problem with a scene in the film.
Most people have criticisms of the films they see. However, Tyson is influential enough he got James Cameron to change a scene in Titanic when it was re-released to theaters. Here’s what Cameron changed — and Tyson’s feelings on a controversial scene from the film.
The inaccuracy in ‘Titanic’ which Neil deGrasse Tyson noticed
Titanic is largely historically accurate. Certain characters – particularly the ones involved in the film’s central love triangle — are fictional. However, most of the other characters in the film are real people and the storyline stays true to the actual sinking of the Titanic.
However, Tyson noticed an inaccuracy in the film that many other people might not. In one scene, Tyson noted the stars didn’t resemble the starscape that would have been in the sky at the time. Tyson took the time to write a “snarky” e-mail to Cameron about this error.
According to Cinema Blend, Cameron recalled “Neil deGrasse Tyson sent me quite a snarky email saying that, at that time of year, in that position in the Atlantic in 1912, when Rose is lying on the piece of driftwood and staring up at the stars, that is not the star field she would have seen. And with my reputation as a perfectionist, I should have known that and I should have put the right star field in. So I said ‘All right, send me the right stars for that exact time and I’ll put it in the movie.’”
Cameron stayed true to his word. The scene was changed for Titanic‘s 2012 re-release. The Washington Post noted that the change of the stars in the night sky was the only major edit made to the film for its re-release. However, Tyson still had another issue with the film.
Neil deGrasse Tyson weighs in on a controversial scene
The most controversial scene in the film is the scene where Rose gets on a floating door. She uses it as a raft while Jack stays in the freezing water. Jack dies from the intense cold. Some fans feel Rose should have allowed Jack to get on the door. Others feel the door could not have sustained the weight of two adults.
According to The Huffington Post, Tyson falls in the former camp. “Whether or not he could’ve been successful, I would’ve tried more than once. You try once. ‘Oh, this is not gonna work. I will just freeze to death in the water.’ No, excuse me.”
Tyson might not see Titanic as a perfect movie. However, he got one of his criticisms of the film worked into the film itself. Not many other people can say that.
Also see: Leonardo Dicaprio Still Refuses to Address the Ongoing ‘Titantic’ Door Controversy