‘Titanic’ Returns To Netflix Weeks After Catastrophic OceanGate Submersible Expedition

A fitting conclusion to the Internet's most contentious news saga.

‘Titanic’ Returns To Netflix Weeks After Catastrophic OceanGate Submersible Expedition

Netflix is set to add James Cameron’s 1997 classic, Titanic, back to its list of movies from July 1, mere weeks after a submersible carrying five people suffered a fatal implosion on an expedition to the wreck of the titular RMS Titanic.

It’s the news that has dominated headlines all over the world, capturing the attention of every media outlet, commanding wall-to-wall coverage of news channels, and igniting discussions, research and debates from online communities through hours-long Twitter spaces and Tiktok videos.

On 22 June, the US Coast Guard confirmed what many had long been thinking: announcing that debris from the ill-fated OceanGate Expedition Titan submersible was discovered on the ocean floor, confirming a catastrophic case of capitalist conquest gone wrong.

But in what’s either a less-than-tasteful coincidence or a total masterstroke, Netflix will be adding James Cameron’s classic film about the (original) maritime disaster back to its catalogue of movies.

Of course, it’s unclear whether the decision to return Titanic to Netflix was taken before or after five people were killed in the Titan submersible, but the announcement has been met with widespread criticism online, with many claiming that Netflix “didn’t miss a beat” to capitalise on the recent fatal disaster.

OceanGate’s Titan submersible catastrophically imploded on an expedition to the wreck of the Titanic. Image: OceanGate Expeditions

Titanic follows the romantic story of Jack Dawson and Rose DeWitt Bukater, two fictional characters onboard the real-life RMS Titanic, the “unsinkable” ocean liner that sank with over 2000 people on board.

How did the Titan implode?

The OceanGate-operated submersible, the Titan, embarked on a voyage to the wreck of the Titanic on Sunday 18 June, carrying five passengers onboard. Among the Titan crew was OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, a maverick adventurer who “led from the front,” but who ultimately led a group of five people to their death.

Rush allegedly ignored “serious safety concerns” regarding the use of carbon fibre hulls for deep-sea diving vessels, with many experts claiming the “experimental” design of the vessel would have been unable to withstand the immense pressure underwater. In 2021, Rush said: “There’s a rule [that] you don’t do that. Well, I did.”

Titanic‘s director James Cameron said of the fatal OceanGate expedition: “I’m struck by the similarity of the Titanic disaster itself, where the captain was repeatedly warned about ice ahead of his ship, and yet, he steamed up full speed into an ice field on a moonless night, and many people died as a result.”