Titanic Theme Park China
Bernard Hill, who played Captain Edward Smith in the 1997 Titanic movie, and Su Shaojun at the theme park launch. Tyrone Siu/Reuters

The Titanic's disastrous fate will be recreated in China as a part of a new planned attraction in southwestern Sichuan province. A Chinese company, Seven Star Energy Investment Group, is planning to funnel nearly one billion yuan ($170 million) into a project that will replicate not only the actual ship but also simulate the accident that eventually sank the “unsinkable” boat and killed more than 1,500 passengers.

The ship replica will be permanently moored in Sichuan’s Qi river, and also serve as a museum and educational resource. The company says the project will be completed in about two years, and has enlisted a US company to help with the designs.

According to a report by the Guardian, Seven Star Energy Investment Group’s CEO, Su Shaojun, says that the simulator will allow people to board the replica ship, modeled after the Titanic’s sister ship, the RMS Olympic, and test out the “6D” technology which mimics what it was like to be onboard when it struck the iceberg. “When the ship hits the iceberg, it will shake, it will tumble… We will let people experience water coming in [to the ship] by using sound and light effects,” Su said. “They will think: the water will drown me. I must escape with my life.”

At the official announcement of the new exhibit was Curtis Schnell, a Hollywood production designer who worked on the recreation of the ship for James Cameron’s award-winning movie Titanic. Schnell was also joined by Bernard Hill, the British actor who played the ship’s captain. Concern has been expressed over the exploitation of the tragedy for entertainment and money, but Hil, expects the exhibit to tackle the historic event “in a very delicate and a very sensitive way,” adding that “they are very aware of the extent of the disaster.” In fact, state-run news Xinhua said the replica would “inspire responsibility” helping prevent future disasters. In addition, the local economy is expected to see a boost once the tourist attraction opens. The Titanic has a lot of star power in China; the movie earned $67 million over its first weekend when it reopened in 2012 in 3D.