Titanic is one of James Cameron’s most famous movies. It was released in 1997 and starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in the lead roles. There had always been more to the movie than the romance of the lead characters around which the plot was built. The director wanted the movie to be as realistic as possible.
Despite the studios’ initial hesitation to undertake the project, Cameron managed to make the movie both as historically accurate as possible and commercially successful. He did not want to have any songs in the movie because of his previous experiences of the songs not fitting tonally in the movies. In fact, he was unaware of the My Heart Will Go On singer Celine Dion’s reputation at the time.
Titanic Director Did Not Want Any Songs In The Movie
Making Titanic was not easy by any means, neither physically nor emotionally. After diving to the actual wreck of the RMS Titanic in the Atlantic Ocean 12 times to get actual wreck scenes for the film, the crew understood that it was not just a story, it was a real event that had caused great loss of life.
James Cameron was so dedicated to getting the movie’s facts right that he got them fact-checked by historians. So, the fact that a song would fit into the movie was not something that he was on board. However, composer James Horner was finding it difficult to end the movie on an emotional note so he secretly wrote a song with lyricist Will Jennings and singer Celine Dion.
Most of the top executives of 20th Century Fox were present when the demo of the song was recorded and they were impressed with it. When Horner played the recording for James Cameron, he was astonished to realize that Cameron had no idea about fellow Canadian singer Celine Dion’s popularity although she already had two commercially successful albums.
Celine Dion Initially Did Not Want To Sing For Titanic
Just like James Cameron was adamant about not having any songs in the movie, Celine Dion was not willing to sing a song for Titanic. Even so, the song continues to be one of the best parts of the movie and is popular to date. The song not only won the Academy Award for Best Original Song but also won four Grammy Awards. Not to mention that Celine Dion’s performances of the song can still move the viewers to tears.
While talking to Andy Cohen on his Bravo talk series Watch What Happens Live, Dion confirmed her initial reluctance to sing the song, saying:
“It is true. I’m glad they didn’t listen to me. It didn’t appeal to me. I was probably very tired that day — very tired. My husband [the late René Angélil] said, ‘Let’s hold on.’ He talked to the writer and he said, ‘Let’s try to make it, like, a little demo.’
The songstress went on to reveal that she did not rerecord the song for the movie so whatever is heard is the demo itself. The producers then went to build the orchestra around it which resulted in the song being one of the most memorable ones.