James Cameron spoke out about “offensive rumors” that he’s in talks about directing a film about the OceanGate Titan submersible tragedy, in which five men died while en route to the infamous Titanic wreckage.
Cameron, who directed the iconic 1997 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet and has dove to the sunken ship dozens of times, posted a statement on his Instagram story on Saturday morning (July 15). In an out-of-character move for the award-winning director, Cameron responded to false claims apparently swirling since the Titan tragedy last month. He said in a statement:
“I don’t respond to offensive rumors in the media usually, but I need to now. I’m NOT in talks about an OceanGate film, nor will I ever be.”
Five passengers, including the CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, were aboard the Titan submersible when it submerged on Sunday, June 18. Within hours, the submersible lost contact with the Polar Prince, the ship that transported the group to launch into the ocean and travel to the Titanic site.
After days of search and recuse efforts, a robotic vehicle discovered debris consistent with the submersible on the ocean floor on Thursday, June 22, indicating an implosion. The debris was discovered approximately 1,600 feet from the Titanic, which sank more than a century ago in April 1912. The men on board include OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, French diver Paul-Henri Nargeloet, British billionaire Hamish Harding, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son, Solemn. OceanGate Expeditions confirmed that day that all five passengers “have sadly been lost. …Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time.”
Cameron spoke with CNN shortly after the debris was found. He told the network’s Anderson Cooper that he was among those “heartsick” over the tragedy. Cameron said in that interview, in part, that he was “hoping against hope that I was wrong” that the vessel imploded, “but knowing in my bones that I wasn’t. …I just feel terrible for the families that had to go through all these false hopes that kept getting dangled, you know, as it played out.”