Stars literally overhauled for Titanic 3D

Scene from the original release of the movie "Titanic," 1997. AFP/Getty

(CBS News) - While the big change in "Titanic's" upcoming re-release is the addition of a third dimension, a subtler alteration has reportedly been made to the film's stars. No, Leonardo DiCaprio hasn't been digitally replaced with Justin Bieber, we're talking about the stars in the sky, the kind scientists care about.

Scientists like eagle-eyed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

When Tyson watched "Titanic" during its initial release he noted that the star map was wrong for the time and place of the sinking. In this video, unearthed by Moviefone, Tyson says that although the film was "widely marketed as having precisely captured the details of the ship" and even though "we know the day, the time, the longitude...everything" about when and where the ship sank, when Kate Winslet's character looks up at the night sky toward the end of the movie, it is "the wrong sky."

In fact, the left half of the sky was a mirror reflection of the right half, or, as Tyson says: "It was not only wrong, it was lazy."

Tyson sent the film's director - noted perfectionist/deep sea explorer James Cameron - an email Cameron has described as "snarky," according to the Telegraph.

"And with my reputation as a perfectionist," Cameron reportedly said, "I should have known that, and I should have put the right star field in."

And so, for Wednesday's 3D re-release, the stars in the sky in the film will match those one would have seen at 4:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912 from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Certainly audiences will notice - those that can make out the star field through tears as Celine Dion wails, anyway.

  • Kevin Hayes

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