To mark the 100 year anniversary of the Titanic setting sail, we asked comedian and Humourisms reporter George Fox to go behind the camera, and behind the scenes of the troubled production of the movie which chronicled the fate of the original ship. So here are the top things, you never knew about James Cameron’s 1997 epic TITANIC.
1: Dialogue Changes:
Unknown to many people, is James Cameron’s love of puns. Originally Cameron envisaged the movie to have much more of the feel of a “Farce”. Numerous characters would constantly begin AND end scenes by saying “Well, whats the worst that could happen…..” with one character frequently saying “Worse things happen at sea darlings, and even worse things happen IN the sea.”
Many executives at the studio felt Cameron was somewhat tipping the bet by including characters that were named “Jack Eisberg” and “Cole Ission”. James Cameron stormed off set for two weeks when the studio informed him that he could not hire Robin Williams to do a voice over for the iceberg. Cameron, a huge fan of Williams work, had planned to layer Williams performance over the footage of the Titanic striking the iceberg with Williams saying:
“Ouch! That’s gonna leave a mark! Am I Right!?”
This footage WAS still included in the Italian version of the film, where it was met with huge acclaim. This is where we get the well known Italian phrase, “……As Inconsiderate As An Iceberg”
2:Unique Filming Techniques:
One of the most memorable parts of this movie was the impressive scene featuring the Titanic leaving dock for the first time. Many people are aware of the unique use of CGI in this scene to create the beautifully realistic imagery. But what many people don’t know is that Director James Cameron had originally planned to film this scene using his own patented “James Cameron One Way Time Machine” that he had invented during a rainy day in pre-production.
The plan was to send his main cameraman, Jason Stanley, back in time to capture the footage of the ACTUAL Titanic setting sail on its doomed journey. Cameron had promised Stanley that he was sure he could create another time machine to bring Stanley BACK from the past, but he’d have to wait until after his wifes parents had gone home, as his father in law had always been very dismissive of Cameron’s inventions, which affected the sensitive director/inventor.
Unfortunately moments before Stanley was about to step into the time machine, an old man claiming to be Jason Stanley burst into the room, warning the younger Stanley not to go through with the proposed journey back in time, then called Cameron a “Miserable Cock-Bag” and promptly turned to dust. This created a time paradox which many thought would threaten the stability of the space-time continuum, but for some reason only resulted in everyone on planet earth having trouble remembering how to make a sandwich, for a day.
3: Kate Winslet’s Production Demands:
Many people will remember the erotic scene featuring Kate Winslets character in the nude being sketched by Leonardo DiCaprio’s character. Like most modern productions, Winslet was given the option of having a “Closed-Set” on the day the compromising scene would need to be filmed. Winslet rejected this offer, instead requesting something that was never done before, or since, an “Open-Set”.
This resulted in the crew of 65 ballooning to 342 on the day of filming of the particular scene. This included the older brothers of all crew members, a bunch of teenage boys who had been playing football outside, the entire cast and crew of “The Bill” who had been filming in the studio next door, 14 tourists on a pub crawl, a stray dog that was chasing a plastic bag, and Liam Neeson.
4: The Alternate Ending:
Many people remember the ending of the movie “Titanic”, but what many do not realize is that this was not the original ending that director Cameron had intended. Originally the locket that is thrown into the ocean at the end of the film was to be revealed to be a magic amulet, which held sway over a magical pirate ship, carved from pure ice.
But the magical spell of this amulet could only be activated by heating the amulet itself. It was during the passionate lovemaking scene earlier in the movie that this occurred, thereby calling the ancient ice ship of evil to main character, Rose’s location, thereby causing the crash which killed so many.
The movie would have ended with the ship once again surfacing, this time with Jack as the captain of the ice behemoth, chasing rose across the seven seas hunting for revenge, and attempting to lift the curse of the amulet, now known simply as “The Black Pearl”. Even though this ending was eventually scrapped, the idea itself was adapted and was eventually used in a new script featuring Johnny Depp as the main character to much critical and commercial acclaim in the movie known as “The Tourist”.