April 15, 2012 marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. It was celebrated by the 3D special re-release of the 1997 James Cameron blockbuster Titanic, which earned the film an additional $343 million worldwide, pushing Titanic's worldwide total to an incredible $2.18 billion! As my own personal commemoration to the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, I'm going to share 10 facts about the movie Titanic you didn't know!
1. Matthew McConaughey to Play Jack
I will never trust Hollywood studios to make the right choices when it comes to making a blockbuster hit film. The reason for this being that they originally wanted Matthew McConaughey to play Jack Dawson instead of Leonardo DiCaprio. Titanic without Leonardo DiCaprio is like peanut butter without jelly, it just wouldn't have been as good!
2. Gwyneth Paltrow to Play Rose
Continuing on with actors that would have ruined the movie, James Cameron originally wanted Gwyneth Paltrow to play his leading lady, Rose DeWitt. Fortunately she turned it down for a role in Sliding Doors, which was a huge mistake being that Titanic became such a huge hit. Nicole Kidman, Madonna, Jodie Foster, Cameron Diaz and Sharon Stone were all also considered for the role of Rose before Cameron eventually chose Kate Winslet. So happy he did because the chemistry between her and Leo was amazing on screen!
3. No Wetsuit for Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet was one of the few actors who didn't want to wear a wetsuit during the water scenes. Although in the scenes after the boat sunk, the actors were in warm water, in the scene where Rose goes looking through the corridors of the sinking ship for Jack, the water used in the scene was from the Pacific Ocean. The water was so cold that when Rose gasps upon diving into the water, it was the actress’s genuine reaction to the frigid ocean water. As a result of not wearing a wetsuit in the cold water, she got pneumonia.
4. Pomeranian History
In the movie, Old Rose owns a Pomeranian. James Cameron purposely gave her this breed of dog because a Pomeranian was one of the only three dogs known to have survived the sinking of the Titanic. As the ship was sinking, a passenger freed dogs from their kennels. Cameron had actually filmed scenes portraying the doomed animals but decided to cut them. He probably realized that there was enough depressing things in the movie already that he didn't want to add to it by reminding us of the poor animals on board!
5. James Cameron Was the Real Artist
James Cameron, not Leonardo DiCaprio, drew all of the pictures in Jack's sketchbook. This included the nude picture of Rose wearing the necklace that was drawn during the film. Thus, the hands seen sketching Rose during her nude scene were not Jack's but Cameron's. In post-production, Cameron, who is left-handed, actually went as far as to mirror-image the sketching shots so the artist would be appear to be right-handed, like DiCaprio!
6. Kate Winslet Isn't Shy
This is one of my favorite fun facts about the movie "Titanic." After finding out that she was going to be naked in front of Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet decided to break the ice by flashing him the first time they met! The nude sketch scene was actually one of the first scenes that was shot for the movie. The big movie sets were not yet built and ready for filming so Cameron had to find scenes that could be filmed without the set being completed.
7. Unexpected PCP Party
On August 9, 1996, around 80 crew members became sick after eating a batch of lobster chowder while filming Titanic in Nova Scotia. Police originally thought it was food poisoning, but when those who became sick started to complain of hallucinations, they took a closer look. Tests on the food came back positive for the drug phencyclidine, also known as PCP. The prankster who laced the crew's chowder with PCP was never caught, and luckily none of the film’s stars ate the drug-laced chowder!
8. "Planet Ice"
Before announcing development of this film, director James Cameron shot footage of icebergs off the coast of Nova Scotia under the pretense of making a film titled "Planet Ice." Early in production, this title was continued to be used as the film's brief "decoy" working title. I'm so glad that the movie was not actually called "Planet Ice" because it kind of makes me laugh and not take the movie so seriously.
9. "My Heart Will Go on"
Director James Cameron originally wanted Enya to compose the music for Titanic and even put together a rough edit of the film using her music as a temporary soundtrack. However, she declined which caused him to approached composer James Horner for help. James Cameron told Horner he didn’t want a theme song, so Horner secretly had Celine Dion record a demo and then persuaded Cameron to include it in the film. The film's theme song "My Heart Will Go On" was the first time a song from a non-musical grabbed an Oscar!
10. Real Jack Dawson
Jack Dawson and Rose DeWitt Bukater are almost entirely fictional characters making the movie's love story fiction as well. However, after finishing his Titanic screenplay, James Cameron learned that there was actually a real passenger that died on the Titanic who signed his name J. Dawson. However, the J. stood for Joseph, not Jack. Still, lovestruck fans of the film have ventured to J. Dawson's grave in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where they have left cinema stubs, personal photos, and pictures of Leonardo DiCaprio.
Being such a huge film, there are tons of fun facts about the making of this film so if you're begging for more surf the Internet! Titanic was nominated for 14 Academy Awards and won 11 of them! It is definitely one of my favorite films of all time and I still get teary eyed every time I watch it! Have you heard of any other fun facts about Titanic?
Top Image Source: moviefone.com