Despite his reputation as a perfectionist and having enough money to remake the whole thing right now in his backyard if he wanted to, James Cameron has been proudly adamant about how he’s changed nothing for Titanic’s 3-D re-release, save its hugely expensive and time-intensive stereoscopic conversion. Otherwise, everything about the 1997 film remains intact and un-tweaked—except for one element that has long bothered astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, whom you don’t want to bother.
As the Telegraph reports (and Tyson himself has related a few times over the years), Cameron received a “snarky” email from Tyson informing him 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 while Cameron certainly could have ignored Tyson’s email, or purchased him, had him bronzed in gold, and hung as his new chandelier, instead he did the right thing and acquiesced, asking Tyson to send him the correct star field and then digitally inserting it into the scene—the only technical change you’ll notice in the film, provided you are the sort of person who, like Neil deGrasse Tyson, can recognize star field placements at a glance. In which case, you are now free to get swept up in the tale of epic romance and frozen corpses, secure in the knowledge that the skies above them are astronomically accurate.
Here’s video of Tyson telling his James Cameron story, complete with a pretty good Cameron comeback.
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