By now, moviegoers the world over are familiar with the blockbuster historical romance that is Titanic from 1997 as directed by James Cameron – and one viewer has taken it upon himself to sue Cameron for wrongfully using his likeness in the creation of Jack Dawson, as portrayed in the film by Leonardo DiCaprio. After securing a grand total of $1,843,201,268 in ticket sales at the worldwide box office during its initial theatrical run, Cameron’s melodramatic masterpiece has since gone down as one of the most successful Hollywood productions of all time.
Despite a troubling climax that still leaves many viewers and fans wishing for a fairer fate to have befallen DiCaprio as the dashing Jack Dawson in retrospect – and in spite of Cameron’s defense of the controversial ending – Titanic is still a frequently cited late 20th century favorite among mainstream moviegoers. Nearly twenty years after the fact, the Cameron directed drama has attracted an enviable aura of prestige and acclaim – as well as a recently filed law suit by a man claiming to be the real Jack Dawson.
According to TMZ, Florida native Stephen Cummings is suing James Cameron for a whopping $300 million for appropriating his personal history and personage in the creation of Jack Dawson in Titanic proper – in addition to seeking 1% of the motion picture’s royalties. If Cummings can be believed, Cameron had prior knowledge of the Floridian yacht industry worker – who was apparently a bit of a local legend in Brevard County between 1988 and 1989 – and adapted some of his personal history into writing the character of Jack Dawson.
To make matters worse for Cameron, Cummings also claims that DiCaprio and Titanic co-star Kate Winslet – who played the rebellious socialite Rose DeWitt Bukater in the film proper – were based on stories he told his closest friends about two of his own relatives who were on the historic sinking ship in 1912. As many might guess, Cummings claims that his relatives were a husband and wife, of whom only the wife survived the tragic event, as similarly depicted in Cameron’s film.
Undoubtedly something of an oddity, Cummings lawsuit against the director of Titanic is sure to rise more than a few eyebrows among fans of the 1997 drama. It remains to be seen whether or not the case brought against Cameron will hold much water in court, but it will be an interesting story to follow in the meantime for any fans of the film which will serve as primary evidence – provided the suit actually makes its way to court.
Titanic is currently available to own on Blu-ray and DVD.