James Cameron’s Titanic is arguably one of the most iconic movies ever created. Even to this day, it has remained a pop culture gem, with numerous references, memes, and genuine admiration for the movie emerging all the time.
But despite its obvious achievements at the box office (which would only be beaten by Cameron’s Avatar later on) and praise from critics, the price of such success wasn’t all that cheap. Cameron and his team had to go through many trials to make Titanic the great movie it is.
Before getting into the finer details, it’s first worth mentioning that Titanic was THE movie that cemented Cameron’s reputation as “the scariest man in Hollywood,” in part because of his supposed need for perfectionism and in part because of his allegedly demanding and uncompromising nature.
Just looking at pre-production (when he actually went underwater to film the real “Titanic” wreck and then had an almost identical model of the ship built for filming) already shows just how much detail Cameron wanted to put into the movie, no matter the cost.
The movie features some underwater footage of the real “Titanic” wreck that Cameron filmed himself while being aboard the “Akademik Mstislav Keldysh.” Interestingly, when he was filming these scenes, he and the crew were poisoned while in Canada.
An angry crew member put the dissociative drug PCP into soup, which was eaten by Cameron and the other crew members in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Over 50 people were taken to the hospital, while Cameron managed to vomit before the drug had a full effect on him. The person responsible was never caught.
With a movie set during a particular historical period, it’s important for the characters to behave appropriately. That’s why the cast – even the extras – were trained by a full-time etiquette coach so they knew the manners of the upper-class gentility in 1912.