James Cameron is being sued by an ex-"yacht master" who claims that he is the inspiration for Titanic lead character Jack Dawson. What do you do to celebrate the 20th anniversary for one of the most successful movies of all time? Maybe re-watch the movie in theaters again or try and reenact some of the most famous scenes. No? How about watch Celine Dion perform "My Heart Will Go On" at the Billboard Music Awards? No again. The correct answer to that question is to sue James Cameron for stealing your life stories and demand $300 million dollars to ease your pain and suffering that the blockbuster movie caused you. I was way off.
According to TMZ, Florida's (of course it's Florida) Stephen Cummings is alleging that James Cameron's fictional love story on the sinking Titanic is in actuality a non-fiction story. Cummings is claiming that James Cameron overheard stories that he would tell in 1988 in Brevard County about two of his dead relatives who were allegedly aboard the R.M.S. Titanic on April 15th, 1912. Cummings was at the time, a "yacht master" (not to be confused with the Rolex watch), and has claimed that Cameron overheard the stories and wrote the Titanic script around his dead relatives.
Cummings' relatives, a man and wife, were on the Titanic when it collided with an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean and only one of them survived. Which is of course almost exactly what happened in the mammoth hit movie Titanic. To ease his pain, Cummings is asking for $300 million dollars plus 1% of the royalties of a movie that made over a crazy $2.5 billion and is currently the fourth most profitable movie of all time. For those who have trouble with math, 1% of $2.5 billion is a whooping $25 million, so Cummings is asking for a grand total of $325 million. That should definitely soothe the poor man's feelings and secure his family's legacy.
This of course is not the first time that Cameron has been sued over Titanic. Cameron was sued for an undisclosed amount of money back in 2014 by an acting extra claiming that his role as an extra was worth more than the $60 a day that he earned. The disgruntled actor who carried Kathy Bates' luggage argues that he should be recognized as a principle actor and that the Screen Actors Guild should be notified for the change. Cameron was also sued again in 2014 for $1 billion over the Titanic 3D attraction in Orlando, Florida because he allegedly stole the idea from a woman who already had the idea to experience the Titanic hitting an iceberg and sinking.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet have not made any official comments about Cummings' claims and neither has director/writer/co-producer Cameron. This is a developing story and it is unknown if the case will even reach the court system. So, happy 20th anniversary, Titanic! Enjoy the spoils of your success and enjoy people trying to jump on the sinking ship.