There's a flaw in the $200 million construction. Much like the boat-builders who thought they had put together an invincible ship, the moviemakers of Titanic, while striving for perfection, have made a mistake.
Specifically, Lake Wissota in Wisconsin didn't exist in 1912 when the ocean liner sank after colliding with an iceberg. So, Jack Dawson couldn't have ice-fished those waters.
In James Cameron's script, aspiring artist Jack Dawson, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, describes how he enjoyed fishing in winter on this lake, near his Chippewa Falls home.
"Have you ever been to Wisconsin?" he asked his newfound love, aristocratic Rose Butler, played by Kate Winslet.
"At that time, there was no body of water there," a Northern States Power Co. spokesman told the Associated Press, confirming a local paper's report that the man-made lake is a hydroelectric project started in 1915 and eventually filled in 1917.
It is probably not surprising that Cameron, born in Kapushkasing, Ontario, didn't know this when choosing some backwater background for his fictional character. DiCaprio, born in Hollywood, and Winslet, from Reading, England, couldn't be expected to know this, either.
Even some Wisconsin residents weren't sure, until the local paper confirmed the error. According to the manager of the Carmike Theaters in Eau Claire, located some five miles from the lake, audiences are simply thrilled to hear their state, the nearby town of Chippewa Falls and the body of water mentioned in a major Hollywood movie.
"Some of them are so surprised, they have come out asking if the studio made up regional prints of the film," the manager said, mentioning that if only he'd known about the hometown link ahead of time, he would have "played it up as a selling point." (Take note, Hollywood, of this potential marketing ploy!)
But as it is, his two theaters screening the three-hour, 14-minute epic are sold out anyway. He says some people did know about the historical gaff, and some didn't until the local paper investigated, but nobody seems unhappy with the area's big-time Hollywood tie-in with the nation's current No. 1 movie.
Meantime, in real Titanic news, there are legal wrangles over treasure from the wreck and film footage of the salvage operation. In Manhattan, independent filmmaker Alexander Lindsay has filed a $4 million lawsuit against the Royal Mail Ship Titanic salvage corporation claiming they sold underwater footage to cable television's Discovery Channel without his consent.
Lindsay says it was his specially created lighting towers that enabled filming in 1996, 12,500 feet below the surface, 400 nautical miles off the Newfoundland coast. RMST says Anderson is merely a "disgruntled employee."